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

    OpenAIRE

    Johanna Niemisto; Paula Saavalainen; Eva Pongracz; Riitta L. Keiski

    2013-01-01

    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 perform...

  4. 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.

  5. Mitigating Land Use Changes From Biofuel Expansion: An Assessment of Biofuel Feedstock Yield Potential in APEC Economies

    OpenAIRE

    Elobeid, Amani E.; Tokgoz, Simla; Yu, Tun-Hsiang

    2009-01-01

    The emerging biofuel sector has drawn great interest as an alternative source of fuel for transportation. The expansion of biofuels greatly impacts world agricultural markets, since currently, the primary feedstocks for ethanol and biodiesel production are field crops and their derived products. There is great interest in the potential of countries to expand their biofuel sectors through increased production of feedstocks. The long-term potential for developing first-generation biofuels in ma...

  6. Assessment on the Use of Marginal Areas for Cultivation of Feedstock for Biofuel

    OpenAIRE

    Briones, Roehlano M.

    2011-01-01

    The Philippines has made a major push toward development of biofuel, enacting biofuels mandates and subsidies by the Biofuels Law. To maintain food security, biofuels policies currently restrict feedstock production to marginal lands. This raises its own issues related to commercial viability, small farmer livelihood, and environmental sustainability. This study conducts a field investigation of these issues, covering small holder feedstock producers producing sugarcane, cassava, and coconut....

  7. Biofuels feedstock development program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:22816524

  10. 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/).

  11. A holistic high-throughput screening framework for biofuel feedstock assessment that characterises variations in soluble sugars and cell wall composition in Sorghum bicolor

    OpenAIRE

    Martin, Antony P.; PALMER, WILLIAM M.; Byrt, Caitlin S; Furbank, Robert T.; Grof, Christopher PL

    2013-01-01

    Background A major hindrance to the development of high yielding biofuel feedstocks is the ability to rapidly assess large populations for fermentable sugar yields. Whilst recent advances have outlined methods for the rapid assessment of biomass saccharification efficiency, none take into account the total biomass, or the soluble sugar fraction of the plant. Here we present a holistic high-throughput methodology for assessing sweet Sorghum bicolor feedstocks at 10 days post-anthesis for total...

  12. Transgenic Biofuel Feedstocks and Strategies for Biocontainment

    Science.gov (United States)

    There are several reasons to believe that transgenic plant feedstocks will be required to realize the full economic and environmental benefits of cellulosic and other biofuels. Much of the commercialization potential for the use of transgenic plant cellulosic feedstocks may be impacted by regulatio...

  13. Assessing regional hydrology and water quality implications of large-scale biofuel feedstock production in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demissie, Yonas; Yan, Eugene; Wu, May

    2012-08-21

    A recent U.S. Department of Energy study estimated that more than one billion tons of biofuel feedstock could be produced by 2030 in the United States from increased corn yield, and changes in agricultural and forest residue management and land uses. To understand the implications of such increased production on water resources and stream quality at regional and local scales, we have applied a watershed model for the Upper Mississippi River Basin, where most of the current and future crop/residue-based biofuel production is expected. The model simulates changes in water quality (soil erosion, nitrogen and phosphorus loadings in streams) and resources (soil-water content, evapotranspiration, and runoff) under projected biofuel production versus the 2006 baseline year and a business-as-usual scenario. The basin average results suggest that the projected feedstock production could change the rate of evapotranspiration in the UMRB by approximately +2%, soil-water content by about -2%, and discharge to streams by -5% from the baseline scenario. However, unlike the impacts on regional water availability, the projected feedstock production has a mixed effect on water quality, resulting in 12% and 45% increases in annual suspended sediment and total phosphorus loadings, respectively, but a 3% decrease in total nitrogen loading. These differences in water quantity and quality are statistically significant (p sustainable biofuel productions. PMID:22827327

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. The effect of feedstock cost on biofuel cost as exemplified by biomethane production from grass silage.

    OpenAIRE

    McEniry, J.; O’Kiely, P.; Crosson, P.; Groom, Elaine; Murphy, J. D.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract: The potential variance in feedstock costs can have signifi cant implications for the cost of a biofuel and the fi nancial viability of a biofuel facility. This paper employs the Grange Feed Costing Model to assess the cost of on-farm biomethane production using grass silages produced under a range of management scenarios. These costs were compared with the cost of wheat grain and sugarbeet roots for ethanol production at an industrial scale. Of the three feedstocks examined, grass s...

  17. 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

  18. Transgenic perennial biofuel feedstocks and strategies for bioconfinement

    Science.gov (United States)

    The use of transgenic tools for the improvement of plant feedstocks will be required to realize the full economic and environmental benefits of cellulosic and other biofuels, particularly from perennial plants. Traits that are targets for improvement of biofuels crops include he...

  19. Upgrading of solid biofuels and feedstock quality

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burvall, Jan [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Umeaa (Sweden). Dept. of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden

    1998-06-01

    This paper treats upgrading of biomass to pellets, briquettes and powder and the quality needed of the initial feedstock. The main raw materials are wood and reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) 5 refs, 6 figs, 2 tabs

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. Corn-based feedstock for biofuels: Implications for agricultural sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Z.

    2010-12-01

    Crop residue as a source of feedstock for biofuels production must retain ecosystem services and be sustainable. The challenge is to develop cropping system management strategies that balance the demand for increasing biofuel needs with ecosystem sustainability. This study was designed to evaluate impacts of changes in land use and management caused by corn-based biofuel production (grain, cob, stover) on soil fertility and ecosystem sustainability. Our specific goal was to investigate how the levels of corn residue removal influence current soil carbon and nutrient budgets and how these budgets are maintained under proposed production scenarios. Soil organic carbon (SOC), an important carbon component in the life cycle of biofuel production, is a sensitive indicator of cropping system sustainability. We used a soil carbon and nutrient balance approach developed from published field observations and a validated mechanistic model to analyze historical corn grain yields and fertilizer usage associated with various management practices at the county scale across the United States. Our analyses show that ecosystem carbon flux demonstrates significant spatial variability, relying heavily on the total biomass production level and residue harvest intensity; SOC budgets depend mainly on the proportion of residue removal, tillage type, and previous SOC stock level. Our results also indicate that corn cob removal for biofuel has little effect on soil carbon and nutrient balances under conventional management practices, while necessary irrigation can contribute greatly to corn-based biofuel production and ecosystem sustainability in the western side of the Great Plains and the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Washington biofuel feedstock crop supply under output price and quantity uncertainty

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Subsidized development of an in-state biofuels industry has received some political support in the state of Washington, USA. Utilizing in-state feedstock supplies could be an efficient way to stimulate biofuel industries and the local economy. In this paper we estimate supply under output price and quantity uncertainty for major biofuel feedstock crops in Washington. Farmers are expected to be risk averse and maximize the utility of profit and uncertainty. We estimate very large Washington price elasticities for corn and sugar beets but a small price elasticity for a third potential feedstock, canola. Even with the large price elasticities for two potential feedstocks, their current and historical production levels in the state are so low that unrealistically large incentives would likely be needed to obtain sufficient feedstock supply for a Washington biofuel industry. Based on our examination of state and regional data, we find low likelihood that a Washington biofuels industry will develop in the near future primarily using within-state biofuel feedstock crops. - Highlights: ► Within-state feedstock crop supplies insufficient for Washington biofuel industry. ► Potential Washington corn and sugar beet supplies very responsive to price changes. ► Feedstock supplies more responsive to higher expected profit than lower risk. ► R and D for conversion of waste cellulosic feedstocks is potentially important policy.

  7. 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. PMID:25707745

  8. Policies to Facilitate Conversion of Millions of Acres to the Production of Biofuel Feedstock

    OpenAIRE

    Epplin, Francis M.; Haque, Mohua

    2011-01-01

    First-generation grain ethanol biofuel has affected the historical excess capacity problem in U.S. agriculture. Second-generation cellulosic ethanol biofuel has had difficulty achieving cost-competitiveness. Third-generation drop-in biofuels are under development. If lignocellulosic biomass from perennial grasses becomes the feedstock of choice for second- and third-generation biorefineries, an integrated system could evolve in which a biorefinery directly manages feedstock production, harves...

  9. 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. PMID:24456235

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. The Impact of Feedstock Supply and Petroleum Price Variability on Domestic Biofuel and Feedstock Markets – The Case of the United States

    OpenAIRE

    Yano, Yuki; Blandford, David; Surry, Yves R.

    2010-01-01

    The promotion of biofuel use in preference to traditional petroleum-based transportation fuel has linked agricultural commodity markets and energy markets more closely together. Biofuel policies can involve multiple policy instruments, but studies examining their effects on biofuel feedstock and energy markets are scarce. In addition, the impact of alternative policy approaches in the context of variability in petroleum prices and the supply of biofuel feedstock has received limited attention...

  13. Evaluating silicon concentrations in biofuel feedstock crops Miscanthus and switchgrass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silicon (Si) concentrations in biofuel feedstock crops have a critical role in combustion processes. The purpose of this study was to quantify Si concentrations in plant biomass samples and to evaluate the contributing factors for Si concentrations. We determined total Si concentrations in Miscanthus x giganteus (M. x giganteus) collected from various research trial plots in the eastern U.S. and in Miscanthus spp. and Panicum virgatum, 'Cave-in-Rock' (switchgrass) from an additional eight trial plots established across Illinois. Whole aboveground plant biomass at each site were air-dried and ground. Total Si concentrations in plant samples were determined by dry-ashing plant tissue in a muffle furnace, followed by alkaline fusion and then colorimetric analysis. Average Si concentrations in statewide M. x giganteus plant samples ranged from 0.72% to 1.6% and samples from within Illinois ranged from 0.55% to 2.4%. The overall median value of concentrations in M. x giganteus samples among all sites was 1.08%. The median value in switchgrass samples (1.5%) was 1.4 times higher than that for M. x giganteus. Among six other Miscanthus spp. samples from the Urbana trial plot in Illinois, Si concentrations were about 1/3 that of M. x giganteus. Variation in Si concentrations tended to be associated with temperature and precipitation of the location where the biofuel crops are being grown. We did not find any relationship between soil type and plant Si concentrations. Long-term evaluations of soil mineral concentrations and additional environmental factors are required to better understand the contributing factors for Si concentrations. -- Highlights: → Si concentrations were determined in Miscanthus and switchgrass biomass. → Biomass samples were from trials in the eastern USA. → Median switchgrass Si concentration was 1.4 times higher than Miscanthus. → Temperature and precipitation seemed to control Si concentrations. → Soil mineral and additional environmental

  14. The Impact of an EU-US TTIP Agreement on Biofuel and Feedstock Markets

    OpenAIRE

    BEGHIN, JOHN C; Bureau, Jean-Christophe; Gohin, Alex

    2014-01-01

    We assess the impact of a potential TTIP bilateral free trade agreement on the EU and US bio-economies (feedstock, biofuels, by-products, and related competing crops) and major trade partners in these markets. The analysis develops a multi-market model that incorporates bilateral trade flows (US to EU, EU to US, and similarly with third countries) and is calibrated to OECD-FAO baseline for 2013–2022 to account for recent policy decisions. The major policy reforms from a TTIP involve tariff an...

  15. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    OpenAIRE

    Srikanth Reddy Medipally; Fatimah Md. Yusoff; Sanjoy Banerjee; 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 technical...

  16. 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. PMID:22471071

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Triacylglycerol profiling of microalgae strains for biofuel feedstock by liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    MacDougall, Karen M.; McNichol, Jesse; McGinn, Patrick J.; O' Leary, Stephen J.B.; Melanson, Jeremy E. [Institute for Marine Biosciences, National Research Council of Canada, Halifax, NS (Canada)

    2011-11-15

    Biofuels from photosynthetic microalgae are quickly gaining interest as a viable carbon-neutral energy source. Typically, characterization of algal feedstock involves breaking down triacylglycerols (TAG) and other intact lipids, followed by derivatization of the fatty acids to fatty acid methyl esters prior to analysis by gas chromatography (GC). However, knowledge of the intact lipid profile could offer significant advantages for discovery stage biofuel research such as the selection of an algal strain or the optimization of growth and extraction conditions. Herein, lipid extracts from microalgae were directly analyzed by ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS) using a benchtop Orbitrap mass spectrometer. Phospholipids, glycolipids, and TAGs were analyzed in the same chromatographic run, using a combination of accurate mass and diagnostic fragment ions for identification. Using this approach, greater than 100 unique TAGs were identified over the six algal strains studied and TAG profiles were obtained to assess their potential for biofuel applications. Under the growth conditions employed, Botryococcus braunii and Scenedesmus obliquus yielded the most comprehensive TAG profile with a high abundance of TAGs containing oleic acid. (orig.)

  20. Triacylglycerol profiling of microalgae strains for biofuel feedstock by liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDougall, Karen M; McNichol, Jesse; McGinn, Patrick J; O'Leary, Stephen J B; Melanson, Jeremy E

    2011-11-01

    Biofuels from photosynthetic microalgae are quickly gaining interest as a viable carbon-neutral energy source. Typically, characterization of algal feedstock involves breaking down triacylglycerols (TAG) and other intact lipids, followed by derivatization of the fatty acids to fatty acid methyl esters prior to analysis by gas chromatography (GC). However, knowledge of the intact lipid profile could offer significant advantages for discovery stage biofuel research such as the selection of an algal strain or the optimization of growth and extraction conditions. Herein, lipid extracts from microalgae were directly analyzed by ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS) using a benchtop Orbitrap mass spectrometer. Phospholipids, glycolipids, and TAGs were analyzed in the same chromatographic run, using a combination of accurate mass and diagnostic fragment ions for identification. Using this approach, greater than 100 unique TAGs were identified over the six algal strains studied and TAG profiles were obtained to assess their potential for biofuel applications. Under the growth conditions employed, Botryococcus braunii and Scenedesmus obliquus yielded the most comprehensive TAG profile with a high abundance of TAGs containing oleic acid. PMID:21915640

  1. Screening and optimization of pretreatments for Parthenium hysterophorus as feedstock for alcoholic biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Optimization of pretreatment methods for Parthenium hysterophorus for bioalcohol production. • Physical, chemical and physicochemical pretreatments methods employed. • Most efficient treatment: autoclaving 121 °C, 15 psi for 30 min in 1% H2SO4 solution. • TFS (total fermentable sugar) yield after pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis = 397.7 mg/g raw biomass. • Parthenium hysterophorus is at par with agro- and forest residues as biofuels feedstock. - Abstract: Parthenium hysterophorus world’s seven most devastating and hazardous weeds, and is abundantly available in several parts of the world. This study treats the subject of effective utilization of this waste biomass (which has cellulose content of 45.2 ± 1.81% w/w) for biofuels production. We have presented a comprehensive and comparative assessment of numerous pretreatment strategies for P. hysterophorus, comprising of all major physical, chemical and physicochemical methods. The yardstick of assessment has been amount of fermentable sugars released during the pretreatment and the post-treatment enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated biomass. Carboxymethylcellulase (1.0 U/mg, 1.7 mg/mL) produced by an isolate Bacillus amyloliquefaciens SS35 and β-glucosidase (Novozyme 188), have been used for enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated biomass. Among the different methods employed for pretreatment, the most efficient treatment has been revealed to be autoclaving of biomass at 121 °C and 15 psi pressure for 30 min in acidic (1% v/v, H2SO4) environment. Total reducing sugar (TRS) yield during this pretreatment, mainly due to hydrolysis of hemicellulosic fraction of biomass, has been 285.3 mg/g of raw biomass. Further enzymatic hydrolysis resulted in reducing sugar yield of 187.4 mg/g of pretreated biomass (9.37 g/L). The total fermentable sugar (TFS) yield from the optimized pretreatment was 397.7 mg/g raw biomass (39.77 g/100 g raw biomass). The effects of different pretreatment methods on

  2. A Baseline Study of Biofuel Feedstock Growth on Non-Traditional Agronomic Land in Utah

    OpenAIRE

    Hanks, Dallas A.

    2012-01-01

    The goal of the Non-Traditional Agronomic Land (NTAL) Project is to develop sustainable, agronomic, crop growth methods that will allow biofuel feedstock production to occur on marginal or non-traditional plots of land, e.g., roadways, railroads, airports, and military installations. Recent economic feasibility models by Utah State University (USU) indicate these lands could, in theory, produce one billion gallons of economically viable new feedstock annually. Specifically, USU models show th...

  3. Triacylglycerol profiling of microalgae strains for biofuel feedstock by liquid chromatography–high-resolution mass spectrometry

    OpenAIRE

    MacDougall, Karen M.; McNichol, Jesse; Patrick J McGinn; O’Leary, Stephen J. B.; Melanson, Jeremy E.

    2011-01-01

    Biofuels from photosynthetic microalgae are quickly gaining interest as a viable carbon-neutral energy source. Typically, characterization of algal feedstock involves breaking down triacylglycerols (TAG) and other intact lipids, followed by derivatization of the fatty acids to fatty acid methyl esters prior to analysis by gas chromatography (GC). However, knowledge of the intact lipid profile could offer significant advantages for discovery stage biofuel research such as the selection of an a...

  4. 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).

  5. 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. PMID:25874216

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. Indirect Land Use Change From Increased Biofuels Demand - Comparison of Models and Results for Marginal Biofuels Production from Different Feedstocks

    OpenAIRE

    Edwards, Robert; MULLIGAN DECLAN; Marelli, Luisa

    2010-01-01

    This study compares the ILUC results produced by different economic models for marginal increases in biofuel production from different feedstocks. The work is the result of a survey of marginal calculations launched by the JRC-IE during 2009, involving some of the best known models worldwid. The modellers were requested by JRC-IE to run scenarios corresponding as closely as possible to the following specification (e.g. marginal runs against existing baseline of the following scenarios): A ...

  11. The Colombian biofuel supply chains: The assessment of current and promising scenarios based on environmental goals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Colombian biofuels are used in the transportation sector at low-percentage blends of biofuel–fossil fuel (until 8:92, volume basis). Since energy policies encourage the increment of Bioenergy percentage in energy matrix, the biofuels production and use should be increased during the next years. In this work, the environmental assessment of several scenarios involving current and promising biofuel supply chains was made. The aim of this paper was the assessment of several possible alternatives to increase the biofuels production from current agricultural supply chains. Sugarcane, cassava, oil-palm and jatropha were considered as feedstocks for the analysis. The environmental assessment included calculations of the greenhouse gas emissions and the potential environmental impacts, using the life cycle assessment approach. The results indicated that the current biofuels production mitigates environmental impacts in comparison to fossil fuels production and use. Additionally, biofuels production using promising feedstocks could be environmentally competitive if the production processes are improved. - Highlights: • The environmental assessment of current and promising Colombian biofuels was made. • Current Colombian biofuel supply chains show 5–8% of GHG emissions savings. • Jatropha and cassava are potential feedstocks for Colombian biofuels production. • Suitable biofuels in Colombia can be achieved by feedstock integration

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Vertical Integration or Contract Farming on Biofuel Feedstock Production: A Technology Innovation Perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Du, Xiaoxue; Lu, Liang; Zilberman, David

    2013-01-01

    Both the goal of energy independence and the desire to lower greenhouse gas emission have triggered the search for alternate energy sources. For second generation biofuel production, a key question is which form of industrial organization should be adopted in order to stimulate stable feedstock production. Using a two-stage optimal control framework, we analyze the optimal form of industrial organization should be adopted where technology innovation is endogenous and biorefinery faces credit ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  18. Design of a GIS-Based Web Application for Simulating Biofuel Feedstock Yields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Prilepova

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Short rotation woody crops (SRWC, such as hybrid poplar, have the potential to serve as a valuable feedstock for cellulosic biofuels. Spatial estimates of biomass yields under different management regimes are required for assisting stakeholders in making better management decisions and to establish viable woody cropping systems for biofuel production. To support stakeholders in their management decisions, we have developed a GIS-based web interface using a modified 3PG model for spatially predicting poplar biomass yields under different management and climate conditions in the U.S. Pacific Northwest region. The application is implemented with standard HTML5 components, allowing its use in a modern browser and dynamically adjusting to the client screen size and device. In addition, cloud storage of the results makes them accessible on any Internet-enabled device. The web interface appears simple, but is powerful in parameter manipulation and in visualizing and sharing the results. Overall, this application comprises dynamic features that enable users to run SRWC crop growth simulations based on GIS information and contributes significantly to choosing appropriate feedstock growing locations, anticipating the desired physiological properties of the feedstock and incorporating the management and policy analysis needed for growing hybrid poplar plantations.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Pacheco

    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

  3. Establishment of an Agricultural/Biofuel Feedstock Research Field Station in Rural South-Carolina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florence ANORUO,

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Today’s worldwide growing interest in biofuels production, in obtaining higher biomass yields, and in providing cleaner liquid fuels for an affordable price could lead to results that might positively solve known present concerns related to global warming and decreasing petroleum fuel resources through the use of the natural rural landscapes. Grass biomass can be converted to bioenergy using technologies such as: conversion to liquid fuels (ethanol; combustion alone or in combination with fossil fuels to produce heat, steam, or electricity; and gasification. This paper presents our efforts in establishing an agricultural/biofuel feedstock research field station in the rural area of the Orangeburg County, South Carolina, geared towards establishing, equipping, and staffing mass production of biofuel feedstock. Since there is a growing interest in using perennial grasses as renewable fuels for generating electricity and for producing bio-ethanol, four crops (Sugarcane, Miscanthus, Sorghum, Sudan grass have been selected for use in biomass production. All these crops are going to be harvested in two different fields: the organic field (environmental sustainability/organic farming and the non-organic field. Each field has approximately 15 acres (60702.85 m2 while the experimental design used for the data collection is going to be the Randomized Complete Block Design. So far, the first step in the crops establishment was to take soil samples for scientific analysis which were sent to Palmetto Agri-Services, York, SC. The plot was mapped out using a GPS program and 40 soil samples holes were collected from each field. Our project’s mission is to identify the most suitable crop for the local climate and soil while advancing knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and the well being of rural communities. Biofuel production from these four crops might be extended to other agricultural areas, namely rural areas in countries like

  4. 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.

  5. Characterization and Screening of Native Scenedesmus sp. Isolates Suitable for Biofuel Feedstock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gour, Rakesh Singh; Chawla, Aseem; Singh, Harvinder; Chauhan, Rajinder Singh; Kant, Anil

    2016-01-01

    In current study isolates of two native microalgae species were screened on the basis of growth kinetics and lipid accumulation potential. On the basis of data obtained on growth parameters and lipid accumulation, it is concluded that Scenedesmus dimorphus has better potential as biofuel feedstock. Two of the isolates of Scenedesmus dimorphus performed better than other isolates with respect to important growth parameters with lipid content of ~30% of dry biomass. Scenedesmus dimorphus was found to be more suitable as biodiesel feedstock candidate on the basis of cumulative occurrence of five important biodiesel fatty acids, relative occurrence of SFA (53.04%), MUFA (23.81%) and PUFA (19.69%), and more importantly that of oleic acid in its total lipids. The morphological observations using light and Scanning Electron Microscope and molecular characterization using amplified 18S rRNA gene sequences of microalgae species under study were also performed. Amplified 18S rRNA gene fragments of the microalgae species were sequenced, annotated at the NCBI website and phylogenetic analysis was done. We have published eight 18S rRNA gene sequences of microalgae species in NCBI GenBank. PMID:27195694

  6. Characterization and Screening of Native Scenedesmus sp. Isolates Suitable for Biofuel Feedstock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gour, Rakesh Singh; Chawla, Aseem; Singh, Harvinder; Chauhan, Rajinder Singh; Kant, Anil

    2016-01-01

    In current study isolates of two native microalgae species were screened on the basis of growth kinetics and lipid accumulation potential. On the basis of data obtained on growth parameters and lipid accumulation, it is concluded that Scenedesmus dimorphus has better potential as biofuel feedstock. Two of the isolates of Scenedesmus dimorphus performed better than other isolates with respect to important growth parameters with lipid content of ~30% of dry biomass. Scenedesmus dimorphus was found to be more suitable as biodiesel feedstock candidate on the basis of cumulative occurrence of five important biodiesel fatty acids, relative occurrence of SFA (53.04%), MUFA (23.81%) and PUFA (19.69%), and more importantly that of oleic acid in its total lipids. The morphological observations using light and Scanning Electron Microscope and molecular characterization using amplified 18S rRNA gene sequences of microalgae species under study were also performed. Amplified 18S rRNA gene fragments of the microalgae species were sequenced, annotated at the NCBI website and phylogenetic analysis was done. We have published eight 18S rRNA gene sequences of microalgae species in NCBI GenBank. PMID:27195694

  7. 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.

  8. Environmental assessment of mild bisulfite pretreatment of forest residues into fermentable sugars for biofuel production

    OpenAIRE

    Nwaneshiudu, Ikechukwu C; Ganguly, Indroneil; Pierobon, Francesca; Bowers, Tait; Eastin, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Background Sugar production via pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic feedstock, in this case softwood harvest residues, is a critical step in the biochemical conversion pathway towards drop-in biofuels. Mild bisulfite (MBS) pretreatment is an emerging option for the breakdown and subsequent processing of biomass towards fermentable sugars. An environmental assessment of this process is critical to discern its future sustainability in the ever-changing biofuels landscape. Result...

  9. Assessment of coal liquids as refinery feedstocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, P.

    1992-02-01

    The R D of direct coal liquefaction has reached such a stage that current two-stage processes can produce coal liquids with high yields and improved quality at a reasonable cost. To fully realize the potential value, these coal liquids should be refined into high-value liquid transportation fuels. The purpose of this study is to assess coal liquids as feedstocks to be processed by modern petroleum refining technologies. After the introduction, Section 2.0 summarizes ASTM specifications for major transportation fuels: gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel fuel, which serve as a target for coal-liquid refining. A concise description of modern refining processes follows with an emphasis on the requirements for the raw materials. These provide criteria to judge the quality of coal liquids as a refinery feedstock for the production of marketable liquid fuels. Section 3.0 surveys the properties of coal liquids produced by various liquefaction processes. Compared with typical petroleum oils, the current two-stage coal liquids are: Light in boiling range and free of resids and metals; very low in sulfur but relatively high in oxygen; relatively low in hydrogen and high in cyclics content; and essentially toxicologically inactive when end point is lower than 650[degrees]F, particularly after hydroprocessing. Despite these characteristics, the coal liquids are basically similar to petroleum. The modern refining technology is capable of processing coal liquids into transportation fuels meeting all specifications, and hydroprocessinq is obviously the major tool. The important point is the determination of a reasonable product slate and an appropriate refining scheme.

  10. Assessment of coal liquids as refinery feedstocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, P.

    1992-02-01

    The R&D of direct coal liquefaction has reached such a stage that current two-stage processes can produce coal liquids with high yields and improved quality at a reasonable cost. To fully realize the potential value, these coal liquids should be refined into high-value liquid transportation fuels. The purpose of this study is to assess coal liquids as feedstocks to be processed by modern petroleum refining technologies. After the introduction, Section 2.0 summarizes ASTM specifications for major transportation fuels: gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel fuel, which serve as a target for coal-liquid refining. A concise description of modern refining processes follows with an emphasis on the requirements for the raw materials. These provide criteria to judge the quality of coal liquids as a refinery feedstock for the production of marketable liquid fuels. Section 3.0 surveys the properties of coal liquids produced by various liquefaction processes. Compared with typical petroleum oils, the current two-stage coal liquids are: Light in boiling range and free of resids and metals; very low in sulfur but relatively high in oxygen; relatively low in hydrogen and high in cyclics content; and essentially toxicologically inactive when end point is lower than 650{degrees}F, particularly after hydroprocessing. Despite these characteristics, the coal liquids are basically similar to petroleum. The modern refining technology is capable of processing coal liquids into transportation fuels meeting all specifications, and hydroprocessinq is obviously the major tool. The important point is the determination of a reasonable product slate and an appropriate refining scheme.

  11. 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

  12. Sources of uncertainty in nitrous oxide emissions from winter barley biofuel feedstock life cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speers, C. M.; Gurian, P. L.; Adler, P. R.; Del Grosso, S.; Spatari, S.

    2013-12-01

    Winter barley is an attractive feedstock for first generation biofuel production in the US Mid-Atlantic region that can serve East Coast transportation fuel markets. Recently designated advanced fuel standing by US EPA, the influence of barley grown as a winter crop on N2O emissions is uncertain because of high spatial and temporal variability. Our objective is to examine the sensitivity of direct and indirect N2O emissions to different management and environmental factors within a 20 year winter barley rotation in two Mid-Atlantic counties (Lenoir, North Carolina, and Queen Anne's, Maryland) using first order uncertainty methods. Specifically, we conducted simulations using the DayCent biogeochemical model, where winter barley was introduced in a two-year rotation following corn and preceding soybean, and grown in four-year cycles that alternate with winter wheat and fallow periods. We tested different model input parameters and analyzed the level of uncertainty each contributes to both direct and indirect N2O emissions with the introduction of barley into the crop rotation. The input values for pH, precipitation, temperature, soil texture, and fertilizer quantity applied were altered from base values and outputs for rotations with and without winter barley were compared by calculating partial derivatives for each parameter to estimate the relative change in N2O emitted. Fertilizer, followed by soil texture, introduces the greatest uncertainty in N2O emissions, with the remaining parameters contributing to lesser, but still significant uncertainty. Therefore, as barley is introduced onto a farm for biofuel production, it is most important to carefully control the fertilizer additions, and to monitor the soil texture class characteristics.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-12-01

    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.

  14. Pilot cultivation of the chlorophyte microalga Scenedesmus obliquus as a promising feedstock for biofuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scenedesmus obliquus was discussed by phycologists as a promising microalga for biofuel production based on its biomass and fatty acid productivity. In the present study, S. obliquus was pilot cultivated for large scale production in a semicontinuous culture for 3 months using polyethylene transparent bags. Cultivation of S. obliquus resulted in a maximum biomass productivity of 0.14 g L−1 d−1 and maximum esterified fatty acid productivity of 17.37 mg L−1 d−1 at light intensity of 130 μmol m−2 s−1. Using of different flocculants for biomass harvest showed maximum flocculation efficiency of 82% using 250 mg L−1 of NaOH for 2 h. Drying of the harvested biomass showed significant increase of esterified fatty acid content by 5 and 7% with respect to control at 75 and 100 °C, respectively. In addition, fatty acid profile and iodine number of S. obliquus oil meet biodiesel standard specifications which make the fatty acid of S. obliquus eligible for further research to be used as a feedstock for biofuel production. Furthermore, the present investigation showed that after oil extraction, the residual algal biomass increased survival and fresh weight of Artemia (brine shrimp) which confirms that the residual algal biomass can be significantly used as food additives for animal feeding. - Highlights: • Scenedesmus obliquus was cultivated in plastic bags in a semicontinuous culture for high biomass production. • Different flocculants were used for harvesting of S. obliquus and the oil was chemically extracted. • The residual algal biomass was used for feeding of Artemia. • The annual productivity of EFA from S. obliquus would be nearly 5 times higher than Jatropha. • The residual algal biomass increased survival and fresh weight of Artemia

  15. 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.

  16. Biofuel Feedstock Cultivation in India: Implications for Food Security and Rural Livelihoods

    OpenAIRE

    K.S. Kavi Kumar; R.S. Soundar Rajan; R. Manivasagan

    2015-01-01

    Biofuels are acquiring importance due to their potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The two most important biofuels – viz., bioethanol and bio-diesel, are largely considered supplementary to the transport fuels. India has extensive programs and aims to blend 20 percent of transport fuels with biofuels by 2017. This paper focuses on three aspects in the context of biofuel production and policy in India. First, the paper looks at feasibility of meeting the biofuel blending targets en...

  17. Liquid diesel biofuel production in Sweden. A study of producers using forestry or agricultural sector feedstock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrae, Erik

    2009-06-15

    but respondents expressed that the market potential for their products was 'almost unlimited'. A couple of the firms had the option to produce synthetic diesel but were primarily focusing on other fuels that were more raw material efficient. The crude tall diesel production was considered to be more limited by available resources in Sweden than the production of synthetic diesel of cellulosic biomass. The firms using forestry sector feedstock were otherwise facing similar difficulties and mostly with the authorities. As they were getting more established they were expecting competition primarily with the petroleum diesel price. This could be solved by selling the fuels to customers with demands on low emission fuels or with environmental policies. The study was conducted by interviewing all the biodiesel producers in Sweden and several of the companies that were entering the industry of producing biofuels from cellulosic biomass. The firms were asked individually about their perceptions on producing liquid diesel biofuels and the prospects of these fuels in the future. This report is therefore based on their thoughts and comments and presents both a general picture of the industries and what aspects were important to them

  18. Biofuels of tomorrow. Concepts and their assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mueller-Langer, Franziska [DBFZ - Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum gemeinnuetzige GmbH, Leipzig (Germany); Kaltschmitt, Martin [Hamburg Univ. of Technology (Germany). Inst. for Environmental and Technology and Energy Economics (IUE)

    2013-06-01

    Globally, due to rising mobility in the future the fuel demand will continue to increase significantly. In addition to other options, like efficiency increase, traffic reduction and relocation of transportation tasks as well as electro mobility, biofuels are strongly required to compensate at least a part of the prospected additional consumption in the years to come. But the respective options are controversially discussed. Against this background an instrument for the technical, economic and environmental analysis and evaluation of future biofuel concepts has been developed. This instrument will be applied here for selected biofuel options based on lignocellulosic biomass (i.e. bioethanol, Fischer-Tropsch diesel, Bio-SNG). For each of these investigated biofuel options reference concepts have been generated relevant for the short-, medium- and long-term taking into account technical development prospects along the overall fuel supply chain. They are analysed and evaluated according to technical, economic and environmental parameters. From a technical view point certain criteria like conversion and overall concept efficiency are taken into consideration. Regarding competitiveness of biofuels, economic aspects (e.g. cost structures, investments for biofuel plants, biofuel production costs, potentials for cost reductions) and environmental criteria (esp. GHG emissions) have been considered. Finally an overall assessment is done for all concepts. (orig.)

  19. 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.

  20. Strategies for 2nd generation biofuels in EU - Co-firing to stimulate feedstock supply development and process integration to improve energy efficiency and economic competitiveness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The present biofuel policies in the European Union primarily stimulate 1st generation biofuels that are produced based on conventional food crops. They may be a distraction from lignocellulose based 2nd generation biofuels - and also from biomass use for heat and electricity - by keeping farmers' attention and significant investments focusing on first generation biofuels and the cultivation of conventional food crops as feedstocks. This article presents two strategies that can contribute to the development of 2nd generation biofuels based on lignocellulosic feedstocks. The integration of gasification-based biofuel plants in district heating systems is one option for increasing the energy efficiency and improving the economic competitiveness of such biofuels. Another option, biomass co-firing with coal, generates high-efficiency biomass electricity and reduces CO2 emissions by replacing coal. It also offers a near-term market for lignocellulosic biomass, which can stimulate development of supply systems for biomass also suitable as feedstock for 2nd generation biofuels. Regardless of the long-term priorities of biomass use for energy, the stimulation of lignocellulosic biomass production by development of near term and cost-effective markets is judged to be a no-regrets strategy for Europe. Strategies that induce a relevant development and exploit existing energy infrastructures in order to reduce risk and reach lower costs, are proposed an attractive complement the present and prospective biofuel policies. (author)

  1. Strategies for 2nd generation biofuels in EU - Co-firing to stimulate feedstock supply development and process integration to improve energy efficiency and economic competitiveness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The present biofuel policies in the European Union primarily stimulate 1st generation biofuels that are produced based on conventional food crops. They may be a distraction from lignocellulose based 2nd generation biofuels - and also from biomass use for heat and electricity - by keeping farmers' attention and significant investments focusing on first generation biofuels and the cultivation of conventional food crops as feedstocks. This article presents two strategies that can contribute to the development of 2nd generation biofuels based on lignocellulosic feedstocks. The integration of gasification-based biofuel plants in district heating systems is one option for increasing the energy efficiency and improving the economic competitiveness of such biofuels. Another option, biomass co-firing with coal, generates high-efficiency biomass electricity and reduces CO2 emissions by replacing coal. It also offers a near-term market for lignocellulosic biomass, which can stimulate development of supply systems for biomass also suitable as feedstock for 2nd generation biofuels. Regardless of the long-term priorities of biomass use for energy, the stimulation of lignocellulosic biomass production by development of near term and cost-effective markets is judged to be a no-regrets strategy for Europe. Strategies that induce a relevant development and exploit existing energy infrastructures in order to reduce risk and reach lower costs, are proposed an attractive complement the present and prospective biofuel policies.

  2. 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.

  3. Modeling state-level soil carbon emission factors under various scenarios for direct land use change associated with United States biofuel feedstock production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Current estimates of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels produced in the US can be improved by refining soil C emission factors (EF; C emissions per land area per year) for direct land use change associated with different biofuel feedstock scenarios. We developed a modeling framework to estimate these EFs at the state-level by utilizing remote sensing data, national statistics databases, and a surrogate model for CENTURY's soil organic C dynamics submodel (SCSOC). We estimated the forward change in soil C concentration within the 0–30 cm depth and computed the associated EFs for the 2011 to 2040 period for croplands, grasslands or pasture/hay, croplands/conservation reserve, and forests that were suited to produce any of four possible biofuel feedstock systems [corn (Zea Mays L)-corn, corn–corn with stover harvest, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L), and miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deuter)]. Our results predict smaller losses or even modest gains in sequestration for corn based systems, particularly on existing croplands, than previous efforts and support assertions that production of perennial grasses will lead to negative emissions in most situations and that conversion of forest or established grasslands to biofuel production would likely produce net emissions. The proposed framework and use of the SCSOC provide transparency and relative simplicity that permit users to easily modify model inputs to inform biofuel feedstock production targets set forth by policy. -- Highlights: ► We model regionalized feedstock-specific United States soil C emission factors. ► We simulate soil C changes from direct land use change associated with biofuel feedstock production. ► Corn, corn-stover, and perennial grass biofuel feedstocks grown in croplands maintain soil C levels. ► Converting grasslands to bioenergy crops risks soil C loss. ► This modeling framework yields more refined soil C emissions than national-level emissions

  4. 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…

  5. Health impact assessment of liquid biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, Rok; Medved, Sašo

    2013-01-01

    Bioethanol and biodiesel as potential substitutes for fossil fuels in the transportation sector have been analyzed for environmental suitability. However, there could be impacts on human health during the production, therefore adverse health effects have to be analyzed. The aim of this study is to analyze to what health risk factors humans are exposed to in the production of biofuels and what the size of the health effects is. A health impact assessment expressed as disability adjusted life years (DALYs) was conducted in SimaPro 7.1 software. The results show a statistically significant lower carcinogenic impact of biofuels (p energy sources, this does not necessary mean that they do not represent any health hazards. PMID:22774773

  6. 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

  7. Camelina (Camelina sativa L.) oil as a biofuels feedstock: Golden opportunity or false hope?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camelina (Camelina sativa) is a promising sustainable alternative energy crop belonging to the Brassicaceae (mustard) family with several favorable agronomic characteristics that has potential to significantly enhance domestic biofuels production. With high seed oil content as well as high yield of ...

  8. A multi-factor evaluation of Jatropha as a feedstock for biofuels: the case of sub-Saharan Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raphael M. Jingura

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA is a geographical region consisting of 49 countries, out of which, 39 countries have experiences with the cultivation of Jatropha curcas L. Since the year 2000 Jatropha production escalated in the region and peaked in around 2007/2008. The major drivers of this trend were claims made about Jatropha including include its ability to grow on marginal lands, high seed and oil yields, and drought tolerant, amongst other attributes. However, the reality has shown that these attributes have not been realised.  The objective of the present paper is to analyse the performance of Jatropha as a biofuel feedstock in SSA based on agronomic, economic, social and environmental factors involved in its production. Evidences in SSA show that the major challenge with Jatropha cultivation has been low seed yields, ranging between 0.1 and 2 t/ha. This in turn has led to oil yields which are not sufficiently viable for use in production of biofuels such as biodiesel. There have also been reported challenges with production on wastelands, low use of inputs, unimproved planting materials and vulnerability to pests and diseases. These have negatively affected the performance of Jatropha causing the original claims made about this energy crop not materialised in the SSA.

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:23201905

  11. Rapid liquefaction of giant miscanthus feedstock in ethanol–water system for production of biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Rapid water/ethanol liquefaction system was proposed for giant miscanthus feedstock. • The optimum liquefaction conditions were 280 °C and 15 min at water/ethanol ratio 50%. • Application of ZnCl2 catalyst enhanced liquefaction process significantly. • 52% bio-oil yield and 1% residue were obtained after 5 min when ZnCl2 catalyst used. - Abstract: Energy issues nowadays are one of the critical priorities for the United States. There is a strong desire and tremendous efforts employed towards replacing fossil fuels with sustainable alternative sources of energy. In this study, hydrothermal liquefaction with ethanol and water as co-solvents was applied on giant miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus) perennial biomass feedstock. Four temperatures and six ethanol ratios were chosen for the study. The optimum combination of temperature and water/ethanol ratio was 280 °C and 50%, respectively. The effect of time, biomass to solvent ratio and catalyst type was studied as well. The best liquefaction results without applying catalysts (53% oil yield and 8% solid residue) were obtained after 15 min. When zinc chloride was used as catalyst, more than 52% of oil yield with 1% solid residue was obtained after 5 min. The crude bio-oil chemical composition was identified by using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS)

  12. 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. PMID:25281367

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gunnarsson, Ingólfur Bragi

    utilization of this feedstock could potentially lower the costs for succinic acid production. The biochemical methane potential of L. digitata, post hydrolysis solid residue (PHSR) and fermentation broth after succinic acid fermentation was also determined. In a biorefinery, biogas production is important for...... amounted up to 10.0 g L-1. However, the production of succinic acid from this type of hydrolysate resulted in much higher product titer and substrate utilization compared to ethanol fermentation, partially because A. succinogenes is able to ferment both glucose and xylose into succinic acid. Jerusalem...... energy recovery as well as for minimizing waste and generating an additional product in the form of fertilizer. Energy recovery of PHSR and fermentation broth through anaerobic digestion corresponded to 298 and 285 NmL CH4 g-1 VSadded, respectively. To further increase the integration of the different...

  16. 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.

  17. Price Projections of Feedstocks for Biofuels and Biopower in the U.S.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Langholtz, Matthew H [ORNL; Perlack, Robert D [ORNL; Graham, Robin Lambert [ORNL; Eaton, Laurence M [ORNL; Hellwinckel, Chad [Agricultural Policy Analysis Center, University of Tennessee; De La Torre Ugarte, Daniel G [ORNL

    2012-01-01

    The economic availability of biomass resources is a critical component in evaluating the commercial viability of biofuels. To evaluate projected farmgate prices and grower payments needed to procure 295 million dry Mg (325 million dry tons) of biomass in the U.S. by 2022, this research employs POLYSYS, an economic model of the U.S. agriculture sector. A price-run simulation suggests that a farmgate price of $58.42 Mg{sup -1} ($53.00 dry ton{sup -1}) is needed to procure this supply, while a demand-run simulation suggests that prices of $34.56 and $71.61 Mg{sup -1} ($30.00 and $62.00 dry ton{sup -1}) in are needed in 2012 and 2022, respectively, to procure the same supply, under baseline yield assumptions. Grower payments are reported as farmgate price minus resource-specific harvest costs.

  18. 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)

  19. Assessments of biofuel sustainability: air pollution and health impacts

    OpenAIRE

    Tsao, Chi-Chung

    2012-01-01

    Accelerating biofuel production has been promoted as an opportunity to enhance energy security, offset greenhouse gas emissions and support rural economies. However, large uncertainties remain in the impacts of biofuels, particularly, on air quality and human health. Sugarcane ethanol is one of the most widely used biofuels, and Brazil is its largest producer. Here a systematic framework, including emission modeling, air quality simulation, and health impact assessment was developed to quanti...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petersen Pia Damm

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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. Results Xylan is the major non-cellulosic polysaccharide in secondary cell walls, and the xylan deficient irregular xylem (irx mutants irx7, irx8 and irx9 exhibit severe dwarf growth phenotypes. The main reason for the growth phenotype appears to be xylem vessel collapse and the resulting impaired transport of water and nutrients. We developed a xylan-engineering approach to reintroduce xylan biosynthesis specifically into the xylem vessels in the Arabidopsis irx7, irx8 and irx9 mutant backgrounds by driving the expression of the respective glycosyltransferases with the vessel-specific promoters of the VND6 and VND7 transcription factor genes. The growth phenotype, stem breaking strength, and irx morphology was recovered to varying degrees. Some of the plants even exhibited increased stem strength compared to the wild type. We obtained Arabidopsis plants with up to 23% reduction in xylose levels and 18% reduction in lignin content compared to wild-type plants, while exhibiting wild-type growth patterns and morphology, as well as normal xylem vessels. These plants showed a 42% increase in saccharification yield after hot water pretreatment. The VND7 promoter yielded a more complete complementation of the irx phenotype than the VND6 promoter. Conclusions Spatial and temporal deposition of xylan in the secondary cell wall of

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:26006220

  3. Life-cycle assessment of local feedstock supply scenarios to compare candidate biomass sources

    OpenAIRE

    Godard, Caroline; Boissy, Joachim; Gabrielle, Benoit

    2011-01-01

    The use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as a comprehensive tool to assess environmental impacts of bioenergies is recommended. Nevertheless, several methodological points remain under debate, particularly regarding the feedstock production step, which is a key stage of bioenergy chains. The present work focuses on field emissions during feedstock production, improving assessment methods by the use of process-based models. To do so, a real bioenergy chain, the local feedstock supply for a boile...

  4. Regional Impacts of Miscanthus Biofuel Feedstock Production on the Hydrologic Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanloocke, A. D.; Twine, T. E.; Bernacchi, C.

    2009-12-01

    Socio-economic and scientific interest toward the use of renewable energy to offset fossil fuel dependence and greenhouse gas emissions is increasing. Currently, the majority of the US renewable energy production is focused on replacing gasoline with corn ethanol. In 2008, 18% of the US corn yield was used to displace ~5% of US gasoline consumption. This represents progress toward meeting the goals of offsetting 30% of liquid fossil fuel consumption by 2030 as established by the US government in the Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI). However, a growing body of research indicates that it may not be beneficial or even possible for corn ethanol alone to meet the AEI goals. Highly productive bioenergy feedstocks requiring fewer inputs such as Miscanthus x Giganteus (Miscanthus) are ideal candidates, relative to maize, to provide a renewable and sustainable alternative to fossil fuel. It is anticipated that Miscanthus is likely to have minimal environmental impacts and could be potentially beneficial to the environment. In order to meet the AEI goals, Miscanthus production on the scale of 1x10 ha would be needed. Before this level of production occurs, uncertainty over the environmental impacts of large-scale implementation should be addressed particularly with regards to the hydrologic cycle. We calibrated and evaluated a process-based terrestrial ecosystem model, Agro-IBIS (Integrated Biosphere Simulator, agricultural version), to simulate the impacts of land-use-change from current land-use practices to Miscanthus production on the hydrologic cycle. Simulations for the Midwestern US (0.5°grid cell resolution) were generated using the same climate forcing for current land cover and additional scenarios where Miscanthus was planted in varying densities (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%). Analyses indicate that for most of the Midwestern US, large increases in evapotranspiration (~100 to 250 mm/yr) and decreases in drainage (~ -100 to -250 mm/yr) occur when high densities

  5. Life cycle assessment of microalgae to biofuel: Thermochemical processing through hydrothermal liquefaction or pyrolysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennion, Edward P.

    Microalgae are currently being investigated as a renewable transportation fuel feedstock based on various advantages that include high annual yields, utilization of poor quality land, does not compete with food, and can be integrated with various waste streams. This study focuses on directly assessing the impact of two different thermochemical conversion technologies on the microalgae-to-biofuel process through life cycle assessment. A system boundary of a "well to pump" (WTP) is defined and includes sub-process models of the growth, dewatering, thermochemical bio-oil recovery, bio-oil stabilization, conversion to renewable diesel, and transport to the pump. Models were validated with experimental and literature data and are representative of an industrial-scale microalgae-to-biofuel process. Two different thermochemical bio-oil conversion systems are modeled and compared on a systems level, hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and pyrolysis. The environmental impact of the two pathways were quantified on the metrics of net energy ratio (NER), defined here as energy consumed over energy produced, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Results for WTP biofuel production through the HTL pathway were determined to be 1.23 for the NER and GHG emissions of -11.4 g CO2 eq (MJ renewable diesel)-1. WTP biofuel production through the pyrolysis pathway results in a NER of 2.27 and GHG emissions of 210 g CO2 eq (MJ renewable diesel)-1. The large environmental impact associated with the pyrolysis pathway is attributed to feedstock drying requirements and combustion of co-products to improve system energetics. Discussion focuses on a detailed breakdown of the overall process energetics and GHGs, impact of modeling at laboratory-scale compared to industrial-scale, environmental impact sensitivity to engineering systems input parameters for future focused research and development, and a comparison of results to literature.

  6. Biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biofuels are fuels made from non-fossil vegetal or animal materials (biomass). They belong to the renewable energy sources as they do not contribute to worsen some global environmental impacts, like the greenhouse effect, providing that their production is performed in efficient energy conditions with low fossil fuel consumption. This article presents: 1 - the usable raw materials: biomass-derived resources, qualitative and quantitative aspects, biomass uses; 2 - biofuels production from biomass: alcohols and ethers, vegetable oils and their esters, synthetic liquid or gaseous biofuels, biogas; 3 - characteristics of liquid biofuels and comparison with gasoline and diesel fuel; 4 - biofuel uses: alcohols and their esters, biofuels with oxygenated compounds; vegetable oils and their derivatives in diesel engines, biogas, example of global environmental impact: the greenhouse effect. (J.S.)

  7. Global Evaluation of Biofuel Potential from Microalgae

    OpenAIRE

    Moody, Jeffrey W.

    2014-01-01

    Traditional terrestrial crops are currently being utilized as a feedstock for biofuels but resource requirements and low yields limit the sustainability and scalability. Comparatively, next generation feedstocks, such as microalgae, have inherent advantages such as higher solar energy efficiencies, larger lipid fractions, utilization of waste carbon dioxide, and cultivation on poor quality land. The assessment of microalgae-based biofuel production systems through lifecycle, technoeconomic, a...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singh, Anoop; Olsen, Stig Irving

    2011-01-01

    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...... 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...

  9. Quantitative uncertainty analysis of Life Cycle Assessment for algal biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sills, Deborah L; Paramita, Vidia; Franke, Michael J; Johnson, Michael C; Akabas, Tal M; Greene, Charles H; Tester, Jefferson W

    2013-01-15

    As a result of algae's promise as a renewable energy feedstock, numerous studies have used Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to quantify the environmental performance of algal biofuels, yet there is no consensus of results among them. Our work, motivated by the lack of comprehensive uncertainty analysis in previous studies, uses a Monte Carlo approach to estimate ranges of expected values of LCA metrics by incorporating parameter variability with empirically specified distribution functions. Results show that large uncertainties exist at virtually all steps of the biofuel production process. Although our findings agree with a number of earlier studies on matters such as the need for wet lipid extraction, nutrients recovered from waste streams, and high energy coproducts, the ranges of reported LCA metrics show that uncertainty analysis is crucial for developing technologies, such as algal biofuels. In addition, the ranges of energy return on (energy) invested (EROI) values resulting from our analysis help explain the high variability in EROI values from earlier studies. Reporting results from LCA models as ranges, and not single values, will more reliably inform industry and policy makers on expected energetic and environmental performance of biofuels produced from microalgae. PMID:23237457

  10. 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

  11. Economy-wide impacts of biofuels in Argentina

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Argentina is one of the world's largest biodiesel producers and the largest exporter, using soybeans as feedstock. Using a computable general equilibrium model that explicitly represents the biofuel industry, this study carries out several simulations on two sets of issues: (i) international markets for biofuel and feedstock, such as an increase in prices of soybean, soybean oil, and biodiesel, and (ii) domestic policies related to biofuels, such as an introduction of biofuel mandates. Both sets of issues can have important consequences to the Argentinean economy. The simulations indicate that increases in international prices of biofuels and feedstocks would increase Argentina's gross domestic product and social welfare. Increases in international prices of ethanol and corn also can benefit Argentina, but to a lesser extent. The domestic mandates for biofuels, however, would cause small losses in economic output and social welfare because they divert part of biodiesel and feedstock from exports to lower-return domestic consumption. An increase in the export tax on either feedstock or biodiesel also would lead to a reduction in gross domestic product and social welfare, although government revenue would rise. - Highlights: ► Argentina is one of the largest biodiesel producer and exporter using soybeans. ► Economy-wide impacts are assessed using a CGE model for Argentina. ► Policies simulated are feedstock and biodiesel price change, and domestic mandates. ► Increases in international prices of biofuels and feedstock benefit the country. ► Domestic mandates for biofuels cause small losses in economic output

  12. Lifecycle assessment of microalgae to biofuel: Comparison of thermochemical processing pathways

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Well to pump environmental assessment of two thermochemical processing pathways. • NER of 1.23 and GHG emissions of −11.4 g CO2-eq (MJ)−1 for HTL pathway. • HTL represents promising conversion pathway based on use of wet biomass. • NER of 2.27 and GHG emissions of 210 g CO2-eq (MJ)−1 for pyrolysis pathway. • Pyrolysis pathway: drying microalgae feedstock dominates environmental impact. - Abstract: Microalgae is being investigated as a renewable transportation fuel feedstock based on various advantages that include high annual yields, utilization of poor quality land, does not compete with food, and can be integrated with various waste streams. This study focuses on directly assessing the environmental impact of two different thermochemical conversion technologies for the microalgae-to-biofuel process through life cycle assessment. A system boundary of “well to pump” (WTP) is defined and includes sub-process models of the growth, dewatering, thermochemical bio-oil recovery, bio-oil stabilization, conversion to renewable diesel, and transport to the pump. Models were validated with experimental and literature data and are representative of an industrial-scale microalgae-to-biofuel process. Two different thermochemical bio-oil conversion systems are modeled and compared on a systems level, hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) and pyrolysis. The environmental impact of the two pathways were quantified on the metrics of net energy ratio (NER), defined here as energy consumed over energy produced, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Results for WTP biofuel production through the HTL pathway were determined to be 1.23 for the NER and GHG emissions of −11.4 g CO2-eq (MJ renewable diesel)−1. Biofuel production through the pyrolysis pathway results in a NER of 2.27 and GHG emissions of 210 g CO2-eq (MJ renewable diesel)−1. The large environmental impact associated with the pyrolysis pathway is attributed to feedstock drying requirements and

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    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 s...

  17. 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...

  18. A multi-actor multi-criteria framework to assess the stakeholder support for different biofuel options: The case of Belgium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The multi-actor multi-criteria analysis (MAMCA) is a methodology to evaluate different policy measures, whereby different stakeholders' opinions are explicitly taken into account. In this paper, the framework is used to assess several biofuel options for Belgium that can contribute to the binding target of 10% renewable fuels in transport by 2020, issued by the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). Four biofuel options (biodiesel, ethanol, biogas and synthetic biodiesel (also referred to as 'biomass-to-liquid' or BTL)) together with a reference fossil fuel option, are evaluated on the aims and objectives of the different stakeholders involved in the biofuel supply chain (feedstock producers, biofuel producers, fuel distributors, end users, vehicle manufacturers, government, NGOs and North-South organizations). Overall, the MAMCA provided insights in the stakeholder's position and possible implementation problems for every biofuel option. As such, it helps decision makers in establishing a supportive policy framework to facilitate implementation and to ensure market success, once they have decided on which biofuel option (or combination of options) to implement. - Research Highlights: → Stakeholder support is an indispensable factor for market success of biofuels. → A MAMCA explicitly includes stakeholder visions in the decision-making process. → The MAMCA shows strengths and weaknesses of alternatives for different stakeholders. →Information on stakeholder's position helps to establish implementation pathways. → Policy makers should focus on combination of biofuel options to reach EU 2020 target.

  19. 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…

  20. Biofuel impacts on water.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tidwell, Vincent Carroll; Malczynski, Leonard A.; Sun, Amy Cha-Tien

    2011-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories and General Motors Global Energy Systems team conducted a joint biofuels systems analysis project from March to November 2008. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility, implications, limitations, and enablers of large-scale production of biofuels. 90 billion gallons of ethanol (the energy equivalent of approximately 60 billion gallons of gasoline) per year by 2030 was chosen as the book-end target to understand an aggressive deployment. Since previous studies have addressed the potential of biomass but not the supply chain rollout needed to achieve large production targets, the focus of this study was on a comprehensive systems understanding the evolution of the full supply chain and key interdependencies over time. The supply chain components examined in this study included agricultural land use changes, production of biomass feedstocks, storage and transportation of these feedstocks, construction of conversion plants, conversion of feedstocks to ethanol at these plants, transportation of ethanol and blending with gasoline, and distribution to retail outlets. To support this analysis, we developed a 'Seed to Station' system dynamics model (Biofuels Deployment Model - BDM) to explore the feasibility of meeting specified ethanol production targets. The focus of this report is water and its linkage to broad scale biofuel deployment.

  1. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Hongjia; Pattathil, Sivakumar; Marcus B. Foston; Ding, Shi-You; Kumar, Rajeev; Gao, Xiadi; Mittal, Ashutosh; Yarbrough, John M; Himmel, Michael E.; Ragauskas, Arthur J.; Hahn, Michael G.; Wyman, Charles E

    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 fung...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Petersen Pia Damm; Lau Jane; Ebert Berit; Yang Fan; Verhertbruggen Yves; Kim Jin Sun; Varanasi Patanjali; Suttangkakul Anongpat; Auer Manfred; Loqué Dominique; Scheller Henrik Vibe

    2012-01-01

    Abstract 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 amount...

  4. 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.

  5. Local Social and Environmental Impacts of Biofuels: Global Comparative Assessment and Implications for Governance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Pacheco

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The 2000s witnessed the rapid expansion of biofuel plantations in the global South in the context of a growing trend of crop plantation expansion. This trend has been spurred by policies in the European Union, United States, Brazil, and other countries favoring the use of biofuels in the transport sector to enhance energy security and reduce carbon emissions, as well as by the desire of governments in developing countries to harness the stimulus that new commercial investments provide to the agricultural sector and to national economies. Despite these potential benefits, a number of concerns have been raised about the local social and environmental impacts of biofuel feedstock expansion. We shed light on this debate through a synthesis of findings from case studies in six biofuel producer countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and a seventh paper exploring the implications of the land-use changes observed in these case studies for the climate mitigation potential of biofuels. We also explore the implications for governing the environmental impacts of biofuel feedstock production, protecting the rights of customary land users, and enabling smallholder-inclusive business models. Our analysis suggests that better governance of the sector’s impacts is not the exclusive preserve of unitary sets of actors, but instead requires concerted and coordinated efforts by governments of producer and consumer countries, investors, civil society, and the financial sector to better capture the sector’s potential while minimizing its social and environmental costs.

  6. The California Biomass Crop Adoption Model estimates biofuel feedstock crop production across diverse agro-ecological zones within the state, under different future climates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaffka, S.; Jenner, M.; Bucaram, S.; George, N.

    2012-12-01

    Both regulators and businesses need realistic estimates for the potential production of biomass feedstocks for biofuels and bioproducts. This includes the need to understand how climate change will affect mid-tem and longer-term crop performance and relative advantage. The California Biomass Crop Adoption Model is a partial mathematical programming optimization model that estimates the profit level needed for new crop adoption, and the crop(s) displaced when a biomass feedstock crop is added to the state's diverse set of cropping systems, in diverse regions of the state. Both yield and crop price, as elements of profit, can be varied. Crop adoption is tested against current farmer preferences derived from analysis of 10 years crop production data for all crops produced in California, collected by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Analysis of this extensive data set resulted in 45 distinctive, representative farming systems distributed across the state's diverse agro-ecological regions. Estimated yields and water use are derived from field trials combined with crop simulation, reported elsewhere. Crop simulation is carried out under different weather and climate assumptions. Besides crop adoption and displacement, crop resource use is also accounted, derived from partial budgets used for each crop's cost of production. Systematically increasing biofuel crop price identified areas of the state where different types of crops were most likely to be adopted. Oilseed crops like canola that can be used for biodiesel production had the greatest potential to be grown in the Sacramento Valley and other northern regions, while sugar beets (for ethanol) had the greatest potential in the northern San Joaquin Valley region, and sweet sorghum in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Up to approximately 10% of existing annual cropland in California was available for new crop adoption. New crops are adopted if the entire cropping system becomes more profitable. In

  7. 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.

  8. Legumes for mitigation of climate change and the provision of feedstock for biofuels and biorefineries. A review

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Erik Steen; Peoples, Mark B.; Boddey, Robert M.;

    2012-01-01

    Humans are currently confronted by many global challenges. These include achieving food security for a rapidly expanding population, lowering the risk of climate change by reducing the net release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere due to human activity, and meeting the increasing demand...... for energy in the face of dwindling reserves of fossil energy and uncertainties about future reliability of supply. Legumes deliver several important services to societies. They provide important sources of oil, fiber, and protein-rich food and feed while supplying nitrogen (N) to agro-ecosystems via...... of climate change by reducing fossil fuel use or by providing feedstock for the emerging biobased economies where fossil sources of energy and industrial raw materials are replaced in part by sustainable and renewable biomass resources. The aim of this review was to collate the current knowledge regarding...

  9. A multi-actor multi-criteria framework to assess the stakeholder support for different biofuel options. The case of Belgium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The multi-actor multi-criteria analysis (MAMCA) is a methodology to evaluate different policy measures, whereby different stakeholders' opinions are explicitly taken into account. In this paper, the framework is used to assess several biofuel options for Belgium that can contribute to the binding target of 10% renewable fuels in transport by 2020, issued by the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). Four biofuel options (biodiesel, ethanol, biogas and synthetic biodiesel (also referred to as 'biomass-to-liquid' or BTL)) together with a reference fossil fuel option, are evaluated on the aims and objectives of the different stakeholders involved in the biofuel supply chain (feedstock producers, biofuel producers, fuel distributors, end users, vehicle manufacturers, government, NGOs and North-South organizations). Overall, the MAMCA provided insights in the stakeholder's position and possible implementation problems for every biofuel option. As such, it helps decision makers in establishing a supportive policy framework to facilitate implementation and to ensure market success, once they have decided on which biofuel option (or combination of options) to implement. (author)

  10. Assessing the social impacts of the biofuel lifecycle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Andreas; Hauschild, Michael Zwicky

    . The indicators address a wide variety of issues; some approaches focus on impacts created in the very close proximity of the processes included in the product system, whereas others focus on the more remote societal consequences. The perception of social impacts is thus very varying. An assessment...... and maybe ownership of a company and thereby in some cases give a reasonable impression of the social impacts that can be expected from the company performing the assessed process. SLCA is in an early stage of development where consensus building seems premature. Nevertheless, some agreement regarding......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...

  11. Making biofuels sustainable

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: As the twentieth century drew to a close, there was considerable support for the use of biofuels as a source of renewable energy. To many people, they offered significant savings in greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels, an opportunity for reduced dependency on oil for transport, and potential as a counter weight to increasing oil prices. They also promised an opportunity for rural economies to benefit from a new market for their products and a chance of narrowing the gap between rich and poor nations. Biofuel development was encouraged by government subsidies, and rapid growth occurred in many parts of the world. Forty per cent of Brazilian sugar cane is used for biofuel production, for example, as is almost a quarter of maize grown in the United States. Although only around 1 per cent of arable land is cultivated to grow feedstock for biofuels, there has been increasing concern over the way a largely unchecked market has developed, and about its social and environmental consequences. Recent research has confirmed that food prices have been driven significantly higher by competition for prime agricultural land and that savings in greenhouse gas emissions are much smaller - and in some cases entirely eliminated - when environmentally important land, such as rainforest, is destroyed to grow biofuels. As a result, many now believe that the economic benefits of biofuels have been obtained at too high a social and environmental price, and they question whether they can be a truly sustainable source of energy. The United Kingdom has always had sustainability at the heart of its biofuel policies and set up the Renewable Fuels Agency to ensure that this goal was met. The direct effects of biofuel production are already being assessed through five measures of environmental performance and two measures of social performance, as well as measures of the energy efficiency of the production processes used and of the greenhouse gas savings achieved

  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. 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

  14. Biofuel technologies. Recent developments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gupta, Vijai Kumar [National Univ. of Ireland Galway (Ireland). Dept. of Biochemistry; MITS Univ., Rajasthan (India). Dept. of Science; Tuohy, Maria G. (eds.) [National Univ. of Ireland Galway (Ireland). Dept. of Biochemistry

    2013-02-01

    Written by experts. Richly illustrated. Of interest to both experienced researchers and beginners in the field. Biofuels are considered to be the main potential replacement for fossil fuels in the near future. In this book international experts present recent advances in biofuel research and related technologies. Topics include biomethane and biobutanol production, microbial fuel cells, feedstock production, biomass pre-treatment, enzyme hydrolysis, genetic manipulation of microbial cells and their application in the biofuels industry, bioreactor systems, and economical processing technologies for biofuel residues. The chapters provide concise information to help understand the technology-related implications of biofuels development. Moreover, recent updates on biofuel feedstocks, biofuel types, associated co- and byproducts and their applications are highlighted. The book addresses the needs of postgraduate researchers and scientists across diverse disciplines and industrial sectors in which biofuel technologies and related research and experimentation are pursued.

  15. Assessing the Economic, Environmental and Social Sustainability of Biofuel Policies

    OpenAIRE

    Mela, Giulio

    2013-01-01

    Biofuels started to raise interest almost 40 years ago, when the Arab oil embargo pushed oil prices up and therefore spurred the research towards new forms of energy. Nevertheless, biofuel production has not really taken off until recently, when the combination of high oil prices, concern about greenhouse gas emissions, and the progressive reduction of oil reserves induced many countries across the world to implement policies encouraging biofuels production. At the beginning of the 2000s, ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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; Coleman, Andre M.; Eaton, Laurence; 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Integrating social and value dimensions into sustainability assessment of lignocellulosic biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Raman, Sujatha; Mohr, Alison; Helliwell, Richard; Ribeiro, Barbara; Shortall, Orla; Smith, Robert David Jonathan; Millar, Kate

    2015-01-01

    The paper clarifies the social and value dimensions for integrated sustainability assessments of lignocellulosic biofuels. We develop a responsible innovation approach, looking at technology impacts and implementation challenges, assumptions and value conflicts influencing how impacts are identified and assessed, and different visions for future development. We identify three distinct value-based visions. From a techno-economic perspective, lignocellulosic biofuels can contribute to energy se...

  2. 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. PMID:19553106

  3. 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. PMID:26808868

  4. 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.

  5. The biofuel support policy. Public thematic report. Assessing a public policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In its first part, this detailed report gives an overview of some key facts regarding biofuels: energy context, biofuels and energy, biofuels and agriculture, multiple and superimposed regulation levels, financial data, and international comparisons. The second part analyses the positions of the different actors (oil industry and dealers, car manufacturers, bio-diesel producers, ethanol producers, farmers producing raw materials, consumer associations, defenders of the environment, public bodies). The third part reports the assessment of the French public policy in terms of efficiency. Some recommendations are made

  6. Biofuels in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Tianwei; Yu, Jianliang; Lu, Jike; Zhang, Tao

    The Chinese government is stimulating the biofuels development to replace partially fossil fuels in the transport sector, which can enhance energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulate rural development. Bioethanol, biodiesel, biobutanol, biogas, and biohydrogen are the main biofuels developed in China. In this chapter, we mainly present the current status of biofuel development in China, and illustrate the issues of feedstocks, food security and conversion processes.

  7. 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.

  8. Performance assessment of biofuel production via biomass fast pyrolysis and refinery technologies

    OpenAIRE

    Shemfe, Mobolaji B.

    2016-01-01

    Biofuels have been identified as one of several GHG emission strategies to reduce the use of fossil fuels in the transport sector. Fast pyrolysis of biomass is one approach to producing second generation biofuels. The bio-oil product of fast pyrolysis can be upgraded into essential gasoline and diesel range products with conventional refinery technologies. Thus, it is important to assess their techno- economic and environmental performance at an early stage prior to commerci...

  9. Water for Food, Energy, and the Environment: Assessing Streamflow Impacts of Increasing Cellulosic Biofuel Crop Production in the Corn Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaeger, M. A.; Housh, M.; Ng, T.; Cai, X.; Sivapalan, M.

    2012-12-01

    The recently expanded Renewable Fuel Standard, which now requires 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022, has increased demand for biofuel refinery feedstocks. Currently, biofuel production consists mainly of corn-based ethanol, but concern over increasing nitrate levels resulting from increased corn crop fertilization has prompted research into alternative biofuel feedstocks. Of these, high-yielding biomass crops such as Miscanthus have been suggested for cellulose-based ethanol production. Because these perennial crops require less fertilization and do not need tilling, increasing land area in the Midwest planted with Miscanthus would result in less nitrate pollution to the Gulf of Mexico. There is a tradeoff, however, as Miscanthus also has higher water requirements than conventional crops in the region. This could pose a serious problem for riparian ecosystems and other streamflow users such as municipalities and biofuel refineries themselves, as the lowest natural flows in this region coincide with the peak of the growing season. Moreover, low flow reduction may eventually cut off the water quality benefit that planting Miscanthus provides. Therefore, for large-scale cellulosic ethanol production to be sustainable, it is important to understand how the watershed will respond to this change in land and water use. To this end a detailed data analysis of current watershed conditions has been combined with hydrologic modeling to gain deeper insights into how catchments in the highly agricultural central IL watershed of the Sangamon River respond to current and future land and water usage, with the focus on the summer low-flow season. In addition, an integrated systems optimization model has been developed that combines hydrologic, agro-biologic, engineering infrastructural, and economic inputs to provide optimal scenarios of crop type and area and corresponding refinery locations and capacities. Through this integrated modeling framework, we address the key

  10. Biofuels versus food production: Does biofuels production increase food prices?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rapidly growing fossil energy consumption in the transport sector in the last two centuries caused problems such as increasing greenhouse gas emissions, growing energy dependency and supply insecurity. One approach to solve these problems could be to increase the use of biofuels. Preferred feedstocks for current 1st generation biofuels production are corn, wheat, sugarcane, soybean, rapeseed and sunflowers. The major problem is that these feedstocks are also used for food and feed production. The core objective of this paper is to investigate whether the recent increase of biofuels production had a significant impact on the development of agricultural commodity (feedstock) prices. The most important impact factors like biofuels production, land use, yields, feedstock and crude oil prices are analysed. The major conclusions of this analysis are: In recent years the share of bioenergy-based fuels has increased moderately, but continuously, and so did feedstock production, as well as yields. So far, no significant impact of biofuels production on feedstock prices can be observed. Hence, a co-existence of biofuel and food production seems possible especially for 2nd generation biofuels. However, sustainability criteria should be seriously considered. But even if all crops, forests and grasslands currently not used were used for biofuels production it would be impossible to substitute all fossil fuels used today in transport.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. New commercially viable processing technologies for the production of sugar feedstocks from sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) for manufacture of biofuels and bioproducts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L Moench) has been widely recognized as a promising sugar feedstock crop because it: (i) is among the plants giving the highest yields of carbohydrates per hectare; (ii) is easily cultivated from seed; (iii) has low input requirements and wide geographic suitability; a...

  14. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, Anoop; Olsen, Stig Irving

    2011-01-01

    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 fr...

  16. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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-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-1 and SVO from 0.64 to 0.83 L-1 depending on capitalization level. Comparatively, the cost of soybean-based biodiesel and SVO ranged from 0.40 to 0.60 L-1 and from 0.14 to 0.33 L-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-1 for soybean and 0.44 L-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-1. (author)

  18. 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.; M. Chin; 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...

  19. Balancing feedstock economics and ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    The purpose of this analysis is to examine the economic balance between production of cellulosic biofuel feedstocks and ecosystem services at the farm level. A literature review of the economics of ecosystem services, ecosystem service impacts of biofuel production, and economic factors influencing ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  1. 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)

  2. Comparative mutagenicity assessment of aerosols in emissions from biofuel combustion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherji, Suparna; Swain, Abhay Kumar; Venkataraman, Chandra

    This study was designed to determine the mutagenicity in extracts of aerosols generated from biofuel combustion in household cooking devices commonly used in India. Wood, dung cake and biofuel briquette were used as fuel in various stoves, including both traditional and improved stoves made of mud, fired clay and metal. The combustion aerosols of particle diameter less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) were collected, and their organic extracts were tested for mutagenicity using the Ames Assay test with TA98 and TA100 strains of Salmonella typhimurium and studies were performed both with and without metabolic activation to account for direct and indirect acting mutagens. The measured mutagenicity emission factors, i.e., number of revertants per kg of fuel burnt, indicate that wood demonstrates significantly lower mutagenicity compared to dung cake and briquette. No significant stove effect was observed across all the fuels studied. The contribution of direct-acting mutagens was found to be greater than 70% in all cases. Such a high relative contribution of direct-acting mutagenicity has not been previously reported for biomass combustion aerosols.

  3. Preliminary life-cycle assessment of biomass-derived refinery feedstocks for reducing CO2 emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US by ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has pledged to emit no higher levels of greenhouse gases in the year 2000 than it did in 1990. Biomass-derived products have been touted as a possible solution to the potential problem of global warming. However, past studies related to the production of liquid fuels, chemicals, gaseous products, or electricity from biomass, have only considered the economics of producing these commodities. The environmental benefits have not been fully quantified and factored into these estimates until recently. Evaluating the environmental impact of various biomass systems has begun using life-cycle assessment. A refinery Linear Programming model previously developed has been modified to examine the effects of CO2-capping on the US refining industry and the transportation sector as a whole. By incorporating the results of a CO2 emissions inventory into the model, the economic impact of emissions reduction strategies can be estimated. Thus, the degree to which global warming can be solved by supplementing fossil fuels with biomass-derived products can be measured, allowing research and development to be concentrated on the most environmentally and economically attractive technology mix. Biomass gasification to produce four different refinery feedstocks was considered in this analysis. These biomass-derived products include power, fuel gas, hydrogen for refinery processing, and Fischer-Tropsch liquids for upgrading and blending into finished transportation fuels

  4. 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.

  5. Biofuels in the U.S. Challenges and Opportunities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoekman, S. Kent [Desert Research Institute, Division of Atmospheric Sciences, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89512 (United States)

    2009-01-15

    Biofuels are of rapidly growing interest for reasons of energy security, diversity, and sustainability - as well as for greenhouse gas mitigation. In recent years, the U.S. has enacted regulations - and adopted aggressive goals - to encourage increased usage of biofuels. Individual States (especially California) have taken even stronger positions with respect to biofuels. Initial efforts have focused mainly on ethanol, produced via fermentation of sugars from grains (especially corn). Today's R and D focus is on '2nd Generation Biofuels' that are produced from a variety of biomass feedstocks utilizing a wide range of conversion technologies. This paper summarizes policy and regulatory drivers for biofuels in the U.S., describes usage trends and projections, and highlights major R and D efforts to promote development and commercialization of 2nd Generation Biofuels. R and D is being conducted in many areas, including biomass resource assessment, development of new biomass feedstocks, improved conversion technologies, and integration of systems. Other important considerations include fuel quality and specifications, as well as requirements for blending, distribution, and storage. Considerable R and D, policy, and regulatory efforts are also focused on the energy and environmental consequences of biofuels. This includes not only direct emissions associated with vehicular uses, but also the fuels' life-cycle impacts with respect to total energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, and multi-media effects. Due to the wide diversity of biomass feedstocks, conversion technologies, and systems integration approaches, the life-cycle impacts of biofuels can vary widely. (author)

  6. 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.

  7. Assessing the sustainability of liquid biofuels from evolving technologies. A Finnish approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soimakallio, S.; Antikainen, R. (Finnish Environment Inst., Helsinki (Finland)); Thun, R. (MTT, Jokioinen (Finland)) (eds.)

    2009-05-15

    The use of biofuels in transportation is increasing and promoted in many areas with the aims of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector, securing the energy supply, and improving the self-sufficiency and employment. However, a number of recent studies have concluded that large-scale production of biofuels may cause significant environmental and social problems. Firstly, greenhouse benefits from substituting fossil fuels with biofuels may be questionable due to auxiliary material and energy inputs required, direct land-use impacts and, in particular, due to indirect system impacts e.g. land-use changes leading to deforestation. Secondly, other environmental impacts, such as nutrient losses, toxic emissions, and biodiversity losses, may also be significant and are not well known, in particular those related to technologies still under development. Thirdly, production of biofuels from raw materials that also are, suitable for food production, have been found to increase food prices, thus causing social problems. Consequently, research on and development of biofuels is more and more focusing on raw materials not directly competing with food production. In addition, a number of initiatives on sustainability criteria for biofuels have been announced by various institutions, with the aim of ensuring that the production of biofuels does not cause serious harm to the environment and society. A sustainability assessment is an extremely complicated and challenging task due to the lack of a unique, objective, and commonly agreed methodology, even though life cycle assessment (LCA) provides a generally accepted methodological background. The definitions of system boundary and reference scenario and other assumptions will have a significant impact on the results. In addition, the sustainability criteria included in different approaches and studies vary, which makes the comparison of the results difficult. This report presents perspectives on varying challenges

  8. Microalgae: biofuel production

    OpenAIRE

    Babita Kumari; Vinay Sharma

    2013-01-01

    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....

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Resetting global expectations from agricultural biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aggressive renewable energy policies have helped the biofuels industry grow at a rate few could have predicted. However, while discourse on the energy balance and environmental impacts of agricultural biofuel feedstocks are common, the potential they hold for additional production has received considerably less attention. Here we present a new biofuel yield analysis based on the best available global agricultural census data. These new data give us the first opportunity to consider geographically-specific patterns of biofuel feedstock production in different regions, across global, continental, national and sub-national scales. Compared to earlier biofuel yield tables, our global results show overestimates of biofuel yields by ∼100% or more for many crops. To encourage the use of regionally-specific data for future biofuel studies, we calculated complete results for 20 feedstock crops for 238 countries, states, territories and protectorates.

  13. Development of a decision support tool for the assessment of biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alternative fuels for the transport sector are gaining growing attention as a means against fossil fuel dependence and towards greener forms of energy. At the same time, however, they are surrounded with doubts concerning sustainability of their production. This work presents the basic framework for a decision support tool to evaluate biofuel production pathways, with the purpose of providing the decision maker with a structured methodology that will lead him to the final decision. The tool integrates the most important aspects along the entire value chain (i.e. from biomass production to biofuel end-use), namely the technical, economic, environmental and social aspect. The tool consists of a computational part, which can be combined with the personal preferences of the user. The analysis provides a score for the respective pathway that can be used to rank different options and select among them the optimal solution. The functionality of the tool has been tested for the case of biodiesel from rapeseed in Germany. - Research highlights: → Structure and framework of a decision support tool for the assessment of biofuels. → Inclusion of economic, environmental and social aspects along the biofuel production chain. → Development of an internal database with relevant information along the chain. → Multi-criteria analysis for the consideration of all relevant criteria. → Incorporation of personal preferences and priorities in the final result.

  14. An assessment of the potential of drylands in eight sub-Saharan African countries to produce bioenergy feedstocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, H K; Diaz-Chavez, R A

    2011-04-01

    This paper synthesizes lessons learnt from research that aimed to identify land in the dryland regions of eight sub-Saharan African study countries where bioenergy feedstocks production has a low risk of detrimental environmental and socio-economic effects. The methodology involved using geographical information systems (GISs) to interrogate a wide range of datasets, aerial photograph and field verification, an extensive literature review, and obtaining information from a wide range of stakeholders. The GIS work revealed that Africa's drylands potentially have substantial areas available and agriculturally suitable for bioenergy feedstocks production. The other work showed that land-use and biomass dynamics in Africa's drylands are greatly influenced by the inherent 'disequilibrium' behaviour of these environments. This behaviour challenges the sustainability concept and perceptions regarding the drivers, nature and consequences of deforestation, land degradation and other factors. An assessment of the implications of this behaviour formed the basis for the practical guidance suggested for bioenergy feedstock producers and bioenergy policy makers. PMID:22482033

  15. Greenhouse gas emissions of biofuels: improving Life Cycle Assessments by taking into account local production factors

    OpenAIRE

    Bessou, Cécile

    2009-01-01

    Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) make it possible to check for all polluting emissions and potential environmental impacts of biofuels throughout the product chain. However, LCA emission factors only give an estimate of average potential emissions, notably not considering the local kinetics of N2O emissions, the most important agricultural greenhouse gas. Our objective was first to analyse how soil compaction affects N2O emissions by combining field experiments and modelling. With automatic chamb...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. - Research highlights: →Bioethanol in Thailand derived from molasses, cassava, sugarcane juice could yield reductions of 64%, 49% and 87% in GHGs when compared to conventional gasoline. →High yields improvement are required for a reliable and sufficient supply of molasses, cassava and sugarcane to satisfy the long-term demands for bio-ethanol and other related industries. →Other factors to enhance long-term security of feedstocks supply for sustainable bioethanol production in Thailand include increasing use of sugarcane juice as feedstock and promoting production of bioethanol derived from agricultural residues.

  17. 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. PMID:18261147

  18. Life Cycle Assessments Applied to First Generation Biofuels Used in France. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Climatic concerns become more substantial each day. Proofs of climatic change of man-made origin accumulate. Even if the consequences of such change remain difficult to foresee for most, this major environmental problem is now the subject of great attention by governments and public opinion. In this context, biofuels have known a growing interest over the last years. This enthusiasm is essentially based on their potential to reduce non-renewable energy consumption, notably petroleum, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) for the transportation sector. Indeed, the transportation sector currently generates about 14% of the world's GHG at a growth rate of about 2% per year that is particularly difficult to reduce. The issue of biofuel balances on these two criteria (GHG emission and non-renewable energy consumption) is therefore fundamental because it justifies largely the different forms of public financial support devoted to ensure the development of these pathways. Thus, numerous studies are aimed at comparing biofuels to equivalent petroleum fuels (gasoline and diesel) in order to assess GHG emission reduction potential associated with using biofuels in transportation. The Directive 2009/28/CE of April 29, 2009 dedicated to Renewable Energies promotion (RE Directive) sets forth a compelling objective, asking each Member State to make sure that the portion of energy produced from renewable sources in all forms of transportation will be at least equal to 10% of its final energy consumption in the transportation sector by 2020. This objective is set subject to a production of sustainable nature and to second generation biofuel availability on the market. The RE Directive introduces several criteria for qualifying biofuels' sustainability. Thus, biofuels should not be produced from land recognized as of great value in terms of biological diversity: forest undisturbed by important human activity, zone assigned to nature conservation, meadows presenting a great

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Bio-fuel production potential in Romania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The paper is based on the ESTO Study: Techno- Economic Feasibility of Large-Scale Production of Bio-Fuels in EU-Candidate Countries. Bio-fuel production has not been taken into account significantly until now in Romania, being limited to small- scale productions of ethanol, used mostly for various industrial purposes. However the climatic conditions and the quality of the soil are very suitable in the country for development of the main crops (wheat, sugar-beet, sunflower and rape-seed) used in bio-ethanol and bio-diesel production. The paper intended to consider a pertinent discussion of the present situation in Romania's agriculture stressing on the following essential items in the estimation of bio-fuels production potential: availability of feed-stock for bio-fuel production; actual productions of bio-fuels; fuel consumption; cost assessment; SWOT approach; expected trends. Our analysis was based on specific agricultural data for the period 1996-2000. An important ethanol potential (due to wheat, sugar-beet and maize cultures), as well as bio-diesel one (due to sun-flower and rape-seed) were predicted for the period 2005-2010 which could be exploited with the support of an important financial and technological effort, mainly from EU countries

  2. Economic assessment of solar and conventional biomass gasification technologies: Financial and policy implications under feedstock and product gas price uncertainty

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Four configurations of a novel solar-heated biomass gasification facility and one configuration of conventional biomass gasification are analyzed through financial and policy scenarios. The purpose of this study is to determine the potential financial position for varying configurations of a novel technology, as compared to the current state-of-the-art gasification technology. Through the use of project finance and policy scenario development, we assess the baseline breakeven syngas price (normalized against natural gas prices and based upon annual feedstock consumption), the sensitivity of major cost components for the novel facilities, and the implications of policy levers on the economic feasibility of the solar facilities. Findings show that certain solar configurations may compete with conventional facilities on a straightforward economic basis. However, with renewable energy policy levers in place the solar technologies become increasingly attractive options. - Highlights: • We model four solar and one conventional biomass gasification systems. • We assess economic feasibility of these systems with and without policy incentives. • Solar facilities compete with the conventional system in certain scenarios. • Feedstock costs are the largest contributor to system cost sensitivity. • Policy incentives create an economically favorable scenario for solar facilities

  3. Pretreatments of lignocellulosic feedstock for bioethanol production

    OpenAIRE

    Predojević Zlatica J.

    2010-01-01

    The use of renewable energy sources (biofuels), either as a component in the conventional fossil fuels, gasoline and diesel, or as a pure biofuel, contributes to energy saving and decrease of total CO2 emission. The use of bioethanol mixed with gasoline significantly decreases gasoline consumption and contributes to environment protection. One of the problems in the production of bioethanol is the availability of sugar and starch based feedstock used for its production. However, lignocellulos...

  4. 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

    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...... less impact was observed on samples with less than 50% leaf content. Enzyme affinity, desorption and readsorption with leaf and stem fractions may affect the sugar yield in wheat straw saccharification. The data suggest that the L/S ratio is an important parameter when adjusting or optimizing...... 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...

  5. 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. PMID:26247310

  6. Opportunity for profitable investments in cellulosic biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Research efforts to allow large-scale conversion of cellulose into biofuels are being undertaken in the US and EU. These efforts are designed to increase logistic and conversion efficiencies, enhancing the economic competitiveness of cellulosic biofuels. However, not enough attention has been paid to the future market conditions for cellulosic biofuels, which will determine whether the necessary private investment will be available to allow a cellulosic biofuels industry to emerge. We examine the future market for cellulosic biofuels, differentiating between cellulosic ethanol and 'drop-in' cellulosic biofuels that can be transported with petroleum fuels and have equivalent energy values. We show that emergence of a cellulosic ethanol industry is unlikely without costly government subsidies, in part because of strong competition from conventional ethanol and limits on ethanol blending. If production costs of drop-in cellulosic biofuels fall enough to become competitive, then their expansion will not necessarily cause feedstock prices to rise. As long as local supplies of feedstocks that have no or low-valued alternative uses exist, then expansion will not cause prices to rise significantly. If cellulosic feedstocks come from dedicated biomass crops, then the supply curves will have a steeper slope because of competition for land. - Research highlights: → The likelihood of a significant cellulosic ethanol industry in the US looks dim. → Drop-in biofuels made from cellulosic feedstocks have a more promising future. → The spatial dimension of markets for cellulosic feedstocks will be limited. → Corn ethanol will be a tough competitor for cellulosic ethanol.

  7. 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

  8. The social and environmental impacts of biofuels in Asia: An overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of this paper is to provide a broad overview of the social and environmental costs and benefits of biofuels in Asia. The major factors that will determine the impacts of biofuels are: (1) their contribution to land-use change, (2) the feedstocks used, and (3) issues of technology and scale. Biofuels offer economic benefits, and in the right circumstances can reduce emissions and make a small contribution to energy security. Feedstocks that involve the conversion of agricultural land will affect food security and cause indirect land-use change, while those that replace forests, wetlands or natural grasslands will increase emissions and damage biodiversity. Biofuels from cellulose, algae or waste will avoid some of these problems, but come with their own set of uncertainties and risks. In order to ensure net societal benefits of biofuel production, governments, researchers, and companies will need to work together to carry out comprehensive assessments, map suitable and unsuitable areas, and define and apply standards relevant to the different circumstances of each country. The greatest benefits may come from feedstocks produced on a modest scale as co-products of smart technologies developed for phytoremediation, waste disposal and emissions reduction.

  9. 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 and...

  10. Next generation of liquid biofuel production

    OpenAIRE

    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 as agricultural and forest residues, as well as purpose-grown energy crops such as vegetative grasses and short rotation forests (SRF). These feedstocks largely consist of cellulose, hemicellulose ...

  11. Climate change effects on mitigation measures: The case of extreme wind events and Philippines’ biofuel plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biofuel production has increased dramatically over the past decade, among other to mitigate climate change. However, climate change vulnerability may currently not be sufficiently accounted for in national biofuel strategies, hence neglecting a possible link between mitigation and adaptation to climate change. To the best of our knowledge this potential link has received very little attention in the literature. One example is the Philippines, which is currently implementing an ambitious program of biofuel production. Its aim is to reduce dependency on imported fuel, increase rural employment and incomes, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The Philippines is frequently battered by tropical typhoons and from 1975 to 2002 the annual average damage to agriculture was 3.047 billion pesos. We calculate wind damage on biofuel feedstock production, and assess the effect that a future potential increase in tropical cyclone intensity would have on energy security, rural development and climate change mitigation in the Philippines. A Monte Carlo simulation is used to obtain the future expected development of typhoon impacts. Based on the Philippines legislated target of 10% biodiesel blend in gasoline by 2011, simulation of the affected area for each feedstock, and expected biofuel feedstock damage is computed for the Philippine's 80 provinces in 2050, for two different typhoon climate change scenarios. Additional indirect economic effects are assessed in a tentative way. The results suggest a modest decrease in biofuel feedstock productivity at the national level, but with strong local differences that are shown to affect the Philippine's policy goals. In a broader perspective the paper accentuates a so far little described link between climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation. This link may merit further attention by policy makers and development planners in order to ensure that policies are economically sound not only in the short but also medium term.

  12. 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.

  13. Land substitution effects of biofuel side products and implications on the land area requirement for EU 2020 biofuel targets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oezdemir, Enver Doruk; Haerdtlein, Marlies; Eltrop, Ludger [University of Stuttgart, Institute of Energy Economics and the Rational Use of Energy, Hessbruehlstr. 49a, 70565 Stuttgart (Germany)

    2009-08-15

    The provision of biofuels today is based on energy crops rather than residual biomass, which results in the requirement of agricultural land area. The side products may serve as animal feed and thus prevent cultivation of other feedstock and the use of corresponding land area. These effects of biofuel provision have to be taken into account for a comprising assessment of land area requirement for biofuel provision. Between 18.5 and 21.1 Mio. hectares (ha) of land area is needed to meet the EU 2020 biofuel target depending on the biofuel portfolio when substitution effects are neglected. The utilization of the bioethanol side products distiller's dried grain and solubles (DDGS) and pressed beet slices may save up to 0.7 Mio. ha of maize cultivation area in the EU. The substitution effect due to the utilization of biodiesel side products (oil cakes of rape, palm and soy) as animal feed may account for up to 7.1 Mio. ha of soy cultivation area in Brazil. The results show that the substitution of land area due to use of side products might ease the pressures on land area requirement considerably and should therefore not be neglected in assessing the impacts of biofuel provision worldwide. (author)

  14. Land substitution effects of biofuel side products and implications on the land area requirement for EU 2020 biofuel targets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ozdemir, Enver Doruk [University of Stuttgart, Institute of Energy Economics and the Rational Use of Energy, Hessbruehlstr. 49a, 70565 Stuttgart (Germany)], E-mail: do@ier.uni-stuttgart.de; Haerdtlein, Marlies; Eltrop, Ludger [University of Stuttgart, Institute of Energy Economics and the Rational Use of Energy, Hessbruehlstr. 49a, 70565 Stuttgart (Germany)

    2009-08-15

    The provision of biofuels today is based on energy crops rather than residual biomass, which results in the requirement of agricultural land area. The side products may serve as animal feed and thus prevent cultivation of other feedstock and the use of corresponding land area. These effects of biofuel provision have to be taken into account for a comprising assessment of land area requirement for biofuel provision. Between 18.5 and 21.1 Mio. hectares (ha) of land area is needed to meet the EU 2020 biofuel target depending on the biofuel portfolio when substitution effects are neglected. The utilization of the bioethanol side products distiller's dried grain and solubles (DDGS) and pressed beet slices may save up to 0.7 Mio. ha of maize cultivation area in the EU. The substitution effect due to the utilization of biodiesel side products (oil cakes of rape, palm and soy) as animal feed may account for up to 7.1 Mio. ha of soy cultivation area in Brazil. The results show that the substitution of land area due to use of side products might ease the pressures on land area requirement considerably and should therefore not be neglected in assessing the impacts of biofuel provision worldwide.

  15. Land substitution effects of biofuel side products and implications on the land area requirement for EU 2020 biofuel targets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The provision of biofuels today is based on energy crops rather than residual biomass, which results in the requirement of agricultural land area. The side products may serve as animal feed and thus prevent cultivation of other feedstock and the use of corresponding land area. These effects of biofuel provision have to be taken into account for a comprising assessment of land area requirement for biofuel provision. Between 18.5 and 21.1 Mio. hectares (ha) of land area is needed to meet the EU 2020 biofuel target depending on the biofuel portfolio when substitution effects are neglected. The utilization of the bioethanol side products distiller's dried grain and solubles (DDGS) and pressed beet slices may save up to 0.7 Mio. ha of maize cultivation area in the EU. The substitution effect due to the utilization of biodiesel side products (oil cakes of rape, palm and soy) as animal feed may account for up to 7.1 Mio. ha of soy cultivation area in Brazil. The results show that the substitution of land area due to use of side products might ease the pressures on land area requirement considerably and should therefore not be neglected in assessing the impacts of biofuel provision worldwide.

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

    OpenAIRE

    DanCheng

    2014-01-01

    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 productio...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  18. Biofuels: which interest, which perspectives?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper is a synthesis of several studies concerning the production and utilization of bio-fuels: energy balance and greenhouse effect of the various bio-fuel systems; economical analysis and profitability of bio-fuel production; is the valorization of bio-fuel residues and by-products in animal feeding a realistic hypothesis?; assessment of the cost for the community due to tax exemption for bio-fuels

  19. Second generation biofuels: Economics and policies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study reviews economics of production of second generation biofuels from various feedstocks, including crop and wood/forestry residues, lignocellulosic energy crops, jatropha, and algae. The study indicates that while second generation biofuels could significantly contribute to the future energy supply mix, cost is a major barrier to its commercial production in the near to medium term. Depending upon type of biofuels, feedstock prices and conversion costs, the cost of cellulosic ethanol is found to be two to three times higher than the current price of gasoline on an energy equivalent basis. The median cost (across the studies reviewed) of biodiesel produced from microalgae, a prospective feedstock, is seven times higher than the current price of diesel, although much higher cost estimates have been reported. As compared with the case of first generation biofuels, in which feedstock can account for over two-thirds of the total costs, the share of feedstock in the total costs is relatively lower (30-50%) in the case of second generation biofuels. While significant cost reductions are needed for both types of second generation biofuels, the critical barriers are at different steps of the production process. For cellulosic ethanol, the biomass conversion costs needs to be reduced. On the other hand, feedstock cost is the main issue for biodiesel. At present, policy instruments, such as fiscal incentives and consumption mandates have in general not differentiated between the first and second generation biofuels except in the cases of the US and EU. The policy regime should be revised to account for the relative merits of different types of biofuels. - Highlights: → Second generation biofuels could significantly contribute to the future energy supply mix. → Cost is a major barrier to its the commercial production in the near to medium term. → The policy regime should be revised to account for the relative merits of different biofuels.

  20. Assessment of the Projected One Billion Ton Biomass for Cellulosic Biofuel Production and Its Potential Implications on Regional Water Quality and Availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demissie, Y. K.; Yan, E.; Wu, M.

    2011-12-01

    The DOE and USDA joint study, also commonly referred as the "Billion-Ton" study, assessed the cellulosic feedstock resources potential in the U.S. for producing second generation biofuel to replace 30 percent of the country's transportation fuels by year 2030. The available resource is expected to come from changing cropping pattern, increasing crop yield, harvesting agricultural and forest wood residues, and developing energy crops. Such large-scale changes in land use and crop managements are likely to affect the associated water quality and resources at both regional and local scales. To address the water sustainability associated with the projected biomass production in the Upper Mississippi River Basin (UMRB), we have developed a SWAT watershed model that simulate the changes in water quality (nitrogen, phosphorus, and soil erosion) and resources (soil water content, evapotranspiration, and runoff) of the region due to future biomass production scenario estimated by the Billion-Ton study. The scenario is implemented by changing the model inputs and parameters at subbasin and hydrologic response unit levels, as well as by improving the SWAT model to represent spatially varying crop properties. The potential impacts on water quality and water availability were compared with the results obtained from a baseline simulation which represents current watershed conditions and existing level of feedstock production. The basin level results suggested mixed effects on the water quality. The projected large-scale biomass production scenario is expected to decrease loadings of total nitrogen and nitrate in the streams while increase total phosphorus and suspended sediment. Results indicate an increase in the rate of evapotranspiration and a decrease in the soil water content and in surface runoff. discharge to the streams. The impacts at the subbasin or local scale varies spatially and temporally depending on the types of land use change, their locations, and crop

  1. 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.

  2. Third generation biofuels from microalgae

    OpenAIRE

    Dragone, Giuliano; Fernandes, Bruno Daniel; A.A. Vicente; Teixeira, J. A.

    2010-01-01

    Biofuel production from renewable sources is widely considered to be one of the most sustainable alternatives to petroleum sourced fuels and a viable means for environmental and economic sustainability. Microalgae are currently being promoted as an ideal third generation biofuel feedstock because of their rapid growth rate, CO2 fixation ability and high production capacity of lipids; they also do not compete with food or feed crops, and can be produced on non-arable land. Microalg...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fischer, Guenther; Prieler, Sylvia; van Velthuizen, Harrij [International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) (Austria); Lensink, Sander M.; Londo, Marc [Energy Research Institute of the Netherlands (ECN), Unit Policy Studies, Westerduinweg 3, 1755 LE Petten P.O. Box 1 (Netherlands); de Wit, Marc [Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development, Utrecht University Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht (Netherlands)

    2010-02-15

    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, oil crops, starch crops and sugar crops. A uniform Pan-European land resources database was compiled at the spatial resolution of 1 km{sup 2}. Suitability and productivity assessments were carried out by matching climate characteristics with plant requirements, calculating annual biomass increments or yields including consideration of soil and terrain characteristics of each grid-cell. Potential biomass productivity and associated energy yields were calculated for each grid-cell. Spatial distributions of suitabilities of biofuel feedstocks in Europe were generated for each individual feedstock as well as for the five biofuel feedstock groups. Estimated agronomical attainable yields, both in terms of biomass (kg ha{sup -1}) as well as biofuel energy equivalent (GJ ha{sup -1}), were mapped and tabulated by agriculture and pasture land cover classes as derived from the CORINE land cover database. Results have been further aggregated by administrative units at NUTS 2 level. (author)

  4. Biofuel production potentials in Europe. Sustainable use of cultivated land and pastures. Part 1. Land productivity potentials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fischer, G; Prieler, S.; Van Velthuizen, H. [IIASA International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg (Austria); Lensink, S.M.; Londo, H.M. [ECN Policy Studies, Petten (Netherlands); De Wit, M. [Copernicus Institute, Utrecht University, Utrecht (Netherlands)

    2009-10-15

    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, oil crops, starch crops and sugar crops. A uniform Pan-European land resources database was compiled at the spatial resolution of 1 km{sup 2}. Suitability and productivity assessments were carried out by matching climate characteristics with plant requirements, calculating annual biomass increments or yields including consideration of soil and terrain characteristics of each grid-cell. Potential biomass productivity and associated energy yields were calculated for each gridcell. Spatial distributions of suitabilities of biofuel feedstocks in Europe were generated for each individual feedstock as well as for the five biofuel feedstock groups. Estimated agronomical attainable yields, both in terms of biomass (kg ha{sup -1}) as well as biofuel energy equivalent (GJ ha{sup -1}), were mapped and tabulated by agriculture and pasture land cover classes as derived from the CORINE land cover database. Results have been further aggregated by administrative units at NUTS 2 level.

  5. Assessment of biofuels supporting policies using the BioTrans model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The introduction of advanced, 2nd generation biofuels is a difficult to forecast process. Policies may impact the timing of their introduction and the future biofuels mix. The least-cost optimization model BioTrans supports policy analyses on these issues. It includes costs for all parts of the supply chain, and endogenous learning for all biofuels technologies, including cost reductions through scale. BioTrans shows that there are significant lock-in effects favouring traditional biofuels, and that the optimal biofuels mix by 2030 is path dependent. The model captures important barriers for the introduction of emerging technologies, thereby providing valuable quantitative information that can be used in analyses of biofuels supporting policies. It is shown that biodiesel from oil crops will remain a cost effective way of producing biofuels in the medium term at moderate target levels. Aiming solely at least-cost biofuel production is in conflict with a longer term portfolio approach on biofuels, and the desire to come to biofuels with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions. Lowering the targets because of environmental constraints delays the development of 2nd generation biofuels, unless additional policy measures (such as specific sub targets for these fuels) are implemented.

  6. Assessment of biofuels supporting policies using the BioTrans model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The introduction of advanced, 2nd generation biofuels is a difficult process to forecast. Policies may impact the timing of their introduction and the future biofuels mix. The least-cost optimization model BioTrans supports policy analyses on these issues. It includes costs for all parts of the supply chain, and endogenous learning for all biofuels technologies, including cost reductions through scale. BioTrans shows that there are significant lock-in effects favouring traditional biofuels, and that the optimal biofuels mix by 2030 is path dependent. The model captures important barriers for the introduction of emerging technologies, thereby providing valuable quantitative information that can be used in analyses of biofuels supporting policies. It is shown that biodiesel from oil crops will remain a cost effective way of producing biofuels in the medium term at moderate target levels. Aiming solely at least-cost biofuel production is in conflict with a longer term portfolio approach on biofuels, and the desire to come to biofuels with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions. Lowering the targets because of environmental constraints delays the development of 2nd generation biofuels, unless additional policy measures (such as specific sub-targets for these fuels) are implemented.

  7. 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

  8. 3 CFR - Biofuels and Rural Economic Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... new policy options to promote the environmental sustainability of biofuels feedstock production... American biofuels and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels by providing, within 30 days, under the... biorefineries to replace the use of fossil fuels in plant operations by installing new biomass energy systems...

  9. 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

  10. Breaking the Link between Food and Biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Bruce A. Babcock

    2008-01-01

    Production of biofuels from feedstocks that are diverted from food production or that are grown on land that could grow crops has two important drawbacks: higher food prices and decreased reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. If U.S. policy were to change and place greater emphasis on food prices and greenhouse gas reductions, then we would transition away from current feedstocks toward those that do not reduce our ability to produce food. Examples of such feedstocks include crop residues, a...

  11. 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.

  12. The French biofuels mandates under cost uncertainty - an assessment based on robust optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper investigates the impact of primary energy and technology cost uncertainty on the achievement of renewable and especially biofuel policies - mandates and norms - in France by 2030. A robust optimization technique that allows to deal with uncertainty sets of high dimensionality is implemented in a TIMES-based long-term planning model of the French energy transport and electricity sectors. The energy system costs and potential benefits (GHG emissions abatements, diversification) of the French renewable mandates are assessed within this framework. The results of this systemic analysis highlight how setting norms and mandates allows to reduce the variability of CO2 emissions reductions and supply mix diversification when the costs of technological progress and prices are uncertain. Beyond that, we discuss the usefulness of robust optimization in complement of other techniques to integrate uncertainty in large-scale energy models. (authors)

  13. 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

  14. LCA of Transportation Biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Adlam, Elisabeth

    2007-01-01

    An increasing need to find alternatives to fossil fuels, and a growing awareness of the global warming effect has resulted in substantial research and development on biofuels. Biofuels are being considered a potential substitution of petroleum based fuels in the transport sector.With this increasing interest in biofuels comes the need to establish the environmental effect of the fuels. Results from several life cycle assessments reviewed in this report show that there are some benefits of bio...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  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. Limits to biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, S.

    2013-06-01

    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.

  20. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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-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)

  3. 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. PMID:16915632

  4. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 increase crop

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. (letter)

  7. Comparative attributional life cycle assessment of annual and perennial lignocellulosic feedstocks production under Mediterranean climate for biorefinery framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucaro, Amalia; Forte, Annachiara; Fagnano, Massimo; Bastianoni, Simone; Basosi, Riccardo; Fierro, Angelo

    2015-07-01

    Annual fiber sorghum (FS) and perennial giant reed (GR) cultivated in the Mediterranean area are interesting due to their high productivity under drought conditions and their potential use as lignocellulosic feedstock for biorefinery purposes. This study compares environmental constraints related to FS and GR produced on experimental farms (in the Campania region) using an attributional life cycle assessment (LCA) approach through appropriate modeling of the perennial cultivation. For both crops, primary data were available for agricultural management. Direct field emissions (DFEs) were computed, including the potential soil carbon storage (SCS). Giant reed showed the lowest burdens for all impact categories analyzed (most were in the range of 40%-80% of FS values). More apparent were the differences for climate change and freshwater eutrophication (respectively 80% and 81% lower for GR compared to FS). These results are due to the short-term SCS, experimentally detected in the perennial GR crop (about 0.25 ton C ha(-1) yr(-1), with a global warming offsetting potential of about 0.03 ton CO2/ton(GR dry biomass)). The results are also due to the annual application of triple superphosphate at the sowing fertilization phase for FS, which occurs differently than it does for GR. Phosphorous fertilization was performed only when crops were being established and therefore properly spread along the overall crop lifetime. For both crops, after normalization, terrestrial acidification and particulate matter formation were relevant impact categories, as a consequence of the NH3 DFE by volatilization after urea were spread superficially. Therefore, the results suggest higher environmental benefits of the perennial crop than the annual crop. PMID:25377476

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  10. Impacts of the EU Biofuel Target on Agricultural Markets and Land Use - A Comparative Modelling Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Blanco Fonseca, Maria; BURRELL Alison; Gay, Stephan Hubertus; Henseler, Martin; Kavallari, Aikaterini; PÉREZ DOMÍNGUEZ Ignacio; Tonini, Axel

    2010-01-01

    The Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) requires that 20% of the EU's energy needs should come from renewable sources by 2020, and includes a target for the transport sector of 10% from biofuels. This report analyses and discusses the global impacts of this biofuel target on agricultural production, markets and land use, as simulated by three agricultural sector models, AGLINK-COSIMO, ESIM and CAPRI. The impacts identified include higher EU production of ethanol and biodiesel, and of the ...

  11. Local Social and Environmental Impacts of Biofuels: Global Comparative Assessment and Implications for Governance

    OpenAIRE

    Pablo Pacheco; George C. Schoneveld; Laura German

    2011-01-01

    The 2000s witnessed the rapid expansion of biofuel plantations in the global South in the context of a growing trend of crop plantation expansion. This trend has been spurred by policies in the European Union, United States, Brazil, and other countries favoring the use of biofuels in the transport sector to enhance energy security and reduce carbon emissions, as well as by the desire of governments in developing countries to harness the stimulus that new commercial investments provide to the ...

  12. Can sunflower provide biofuel for inland demand? An integrated assessment of sustainability at regional scale

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biofuels could reduce reliance on fossil oil, while helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promoting rural development. This study assessed the viability of using local biodiesel production from sunflower in Tuscany (Italy) to meet inland demand for diesel fuel in compliance with the European Directives. A crop growth model, GIS and geostatistics were used to identify suitable areas for biodiesel production, considering potential sunflower yields alongside essential sustainability criteria: energy efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) savings throughout the supply chain. Simulation results indicate that biodiesel potential, estimated at 95,000 t/year, corresponds to 104,400 tCO2 eq/year of GHG saved and to 26,500 TOE/year of fossil energy saved. Two scenarios of biodiesel requirement, derived from EU targets, were evaluated. The results of the evaluation indicated that the 2010 target of replacing 5.75% of transportation diesel fuel can be met, while the 2020 target (reaching a 10% of replacement) cannot be met, since local biodiesel production could replace only 4.78% of diesel fuel requirement. A third scenario considered replacing diesel fuel currently used in the agricultural sector. Results showed that the fuel requirement of this sector cannot be fulfilled since biodiesel could cover only approximately 36% of the expected demand.

  13. Too difficult to govern? An assessment of the governability of transport biofuels in the EU

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Transport biofuels are currently the subject of heated debate in the EU. In the past decade the deployment of these technologies has been justified by claims of attractive environmental, geopolitical and rural development benefits. However, expectations have rapidly turned into deep criticism regarding the sustainability of these technologies and the desirability of pursuing the biofuel path. This situation has generated an on-going controversy and policy deadlock at EU level. This study explores these issues from a governance perspective. Employing the concept of system governability, derived from interactive governance theory, it attempts to shed some light on the problems facing the governance of biofuels and on how the quality of the governance system could be improved. The analysis showed that the governability of the system decreased substantially in the period 2003–2012 due to increasing governing needs and decreasing governing capacity. The quality of the governance system can be improved by (i) improving governing capacity by reducing conflicts among governing actors, advancing consistency among institutions and creating capacity at international and global level; and (ii) promoting advanced technologies and adjusting societal ambitions and expectations regarding biofuels. - highlights: • Biofuels in the EU are significantly more difficult to govern today than in 2003. • This is due to the qualities of the system to be governed and the governing system. • Sustainable biofuel systems are inherently difficult to govern

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Considering Trade Policies for Liquid Biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Kojima, Masami; Mitchell, Donald; Ward, William

    2007-01-01

    This report addresses the issues associated with trade in liquid biofuels is a second Energy Sector Management Assistance Program report on biofuels, and part of a broader assessment of bioenergy undertaken by the World Bank. The report asks how liberalizing trade in liquid biofuels might affect biofuel production and consumption. Bioenergy is playing an increasingly important role as an a...

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 75 FR 20085 - Subpart B-Advanced Biofuel Payment Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-16

    ...., Washington, DC 20250-0742. Hand Delivery/Courier: Submit written comments via Federal Express Mail or other... wide range of feedstock to be used in the production of advanced biofuel. For example, sunflower...

  2. 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)...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    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 h...

  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

    As governments elaborate strategies to counter climate change, there is a need to compare the different options available on an environmental basis. This study proposes a life cycle assessment (LCA) framework integrating the Lashof Mg-year accounting methodology that allows the assessment 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...

  5. Life-Cycle Assessment of Oilseeds for Biojet Production Using Localized Cold-Press Extraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sieverding, Heidi L; Zhao, Xianhui; Wei, Lin; Stone, James J

    2016-05-01

    As nonfood oilseed varieties are being rapidly developed, new varieties may affect agricultural production efficiency and life-cycle assessment results. Current, detailed feedstock production information is necessary to accurately assess impacts of the biofuel life-cycle. The life-cycle impacts of four nonfood oilseeds (carinata [ L. Braun], camelina [ L. Crantz], canola or rapeseed [ L.], and sunflower [ L.]) were modeled using Argonne National Laboratory's GREET model to compare feedstocks for renewable biojet production using cold-press oil extraction. Only feedstock-related inputs were varied, allowing isolation of feedstock influence. Carinata and camelina performed slightly better than other oilseed crops at most product stages and impact categories as a result of current, low-input agricultural information and new feedstock varieties. Between 40 to 50% of SO and NO emissions, ∼25% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and ∼40% of total energy consumption for the biojet production impact occurred during feedstock production. Within the first standard deviation, total well-to-tank emissions varied between ∼13% (GHG) and ∼35% (SO) for all feedstocks emphasizing the importance of accurate agricultural production information. Nonfood oilseed feedstock properties (e.g., oil content, density) and agricultural management (e.g., fertilization, yield) affect life-cycle assessment results. Using biofuels in feedstock production and focusing on low-impact management would assist producers in improving overall product sustainability. PMID:27136164

  6. An assessment of the potential of drylands in eight sub-Saharan African countries to produce bioenergy feedstocks

    OpenAIRE

    Watson, H K; Diaz-Chavez, R. A.

    2011-01-01

    This paper synthesizes lessons learnt from research that aimed to identify land in the dryland regions of eight sub-Saharan African study countries where bioenergy feedstocks production has a low risk of detrimental environmental and socio-economic effects. The methodology involved using geographical information systems (GISs) to interrogate a wide range of datasets, aerial photograph and field verification, an extensive literature review, and obtaining information from a wide range of stakeh...

  7. Third Generation Biofuels via Direct Cellulose Fermentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David B. Levin

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Consolidated bioprocessing (CBP is a system in which cellulase production, substrate hydrolysis, and fermentation are accomplished in a single process step by cellulolytic microorganisms. CBP offers the potential for lower biofuel production costs due to simpler feedstock processing, lower energy inputs, and higher conversion efficiencies than separate hydrolysis and fermentation processes, and is an economically attractive near-term goal for “third generation” biofuel production. In this review article, production of third generation biofuels from cellulosic feedstocks will be addressed in respect to the metabolism of cellulolytic bacteria and the development of strategies to increase biofuel yields through metabolic engineering.

  8. 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.

  9. Assessment of the energy and economic performance of second generation biofuel production processes using energy market scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: ► Consistent evaluation of biofuel processes using future energy market scenarios. ► Scenario-specific evaluation of energetic, economic and environmental performance. ► Biomass-use allocated with CO2 emissions based on reference biomass fuel user. ► Assumed CO2-neutrality of biomass overestimates the real-life GHG emission reductions. ► Synthetic natural gas production from biomass needs policy support to be economically viable. -- Abstract: In this paper performance assessment of second generation biofuel production using energy market scenarios and system-level performance indicators is proposed. During biofuel production a number of products and services can be co-generated while import of energy services (e.g. electricity and heat) in addition to the fuel supply may also be needed. This needs to be reflected by a well-defined performance indicator enabling a comparison between different process alternatives. A marginal production perspective is proposed in this study for the definition of a general energy performance indicator, recalculating all services to primary energy on a system level. The Energy Price and Carbon Balance Scenarios (ENPAC) tool developed at Chalmers is used for the definition of the energy system background. Thereby, a scenario-specific comparison of the processes’ thermodynamic, economic and carbon footprint performance is possible. The usefulness of the approach is illustrated for production of synthetic natural gas (SNG) from biomass. The shortcomings of common performance indicators are also discussed.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Toward nitrogen neutral biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huo, Yi-Xin; Wernick, David G; Liao, James C

    2012-06-01

    Environmental concerns and an increasing global energy demand have spurred scientific research and political action to deliver large-scale production of liquid biofuels. Current biofuel processes and developing approaches have focused on closing the carbon cycle by biological fixation of atmospheric carbon dioxide and conversion of biomass to fuels. To date, these processes have relied on fertilizer produced by the energy-intensive Haber-Bosch process, and have not addressed the global nitrogen cycle and its environmental implications. Recent developments to convert protein to fuel and ammonia may begin to address these problems. In this scheme, recycling ammonia to either plant or algal feedstocks reduces the demand for synthetic fertilizer supplementation. Further development of this technology will realize its advantages of high carbon fixation rates, inexpensive and simple feedstock processing, in addition to reduced fertilizer requirements. PMID:22054644

  13. 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

    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...

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. Biofuels worldwide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  17. Optimal Localization of Biofuel Production on a European Scale

    OpenAIRE

    Wetterlund, E.

    2010-01-01

    Second generation biofuels use non-food lignocellulosic feedstock, for example waste or forest residues, and have in general lower environmental impact than first generation biofuels. In order to reach the 2020 target of 10% renewable energy in transport it will likely be necessary to have a share of at least 3% second generation fuels in the EU fuel mix. However, second generation biofuel production plants will typically need to be very large which puts significant demand on the supply chain...

  18. Metabolic engineering of microalgal based biofuel production: prospects and challenges

    OpenAIRE

    Chiranjib eBanerjee; Kashyap Kumar Dubey; Pratyoosh eShukla

    2016-01-01

    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 harve...

  19. Metabolic Engineering of Microalgal Based Biofuel Production: Prospects and Challenges

    OpenAIRE

    Banerjee, Chiranjib; Dubey, Kashyap K.; Shukla, Pratyoosh

    2016-01-01

    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 harve...

  20. Induced market disturbances related to biofuels. Report D2.2 of ELOBIO subtask 2.3

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The current market introduction of biofuels coincides with significant price increases on other commodity markets. However it is not clear to what extend biofuels really cause an increased demand for raw materials and thus an important price impact for all alternative applications of these raw materials. While the introduction of biofuels will have a positive impact on some of the related markets and negative on others, the magnitude of this impact needs to be analysed in more detail. Although at this stage, the European biofuel industry does not seem to be a threat to global food production, real concerns exist to what might happen in the future if the current biofuels expansion rates persist. Future growth rates must take due account of the feedback loops that exist between the profitability of biofuel production and feedstock cost, as well as a number of uncertainty factors that will affect the availability and price of raw material for everyone. Such factors include physical aspects of production (land availability, yields, crushing capacities), market factors (e.g. concentration, price elasticity of demand, availability of substitutes), governmental interference (subsidy levels) and international trade agreements. It is important to avoid policy-induced market disturbances as these can become a major barrier for industry and public support for biofuels. The ELOBIO project aims at the development of low-disturbing policy options, enhancing biofuels while minimising the impacts on e.g. markets for food, feed, and biomass for power and heat. This report shows the result of task 2.3 of the ELOBIO project. In this task the status of knowledge of induced market disturbances towards feed, food and other markets will be described. Possible market interferences of various biofuels and feedstocks for biofuels will be described in general and some cases will be treated in more depth, documented with market figures. In a next stage of the ELOBIO project - that is outside

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    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 analys...

  2. Assessing methanotrophy and carbon fixation for biofuel production by Methanosarcina acetivorans

    OpenAIRE

    Nazem-Bokaee, Hadi; Gopalakrishnan, Saratram; James G. Ferry; Thomas K. Wood; Maranas, Costas D.

    2016-01-01

    Background Methanosarcina acetivorans is a model archaeon with renewed interest due to its unique reversible methane production pathways. However, the mechanism and relevant pathways implicated in (co)utilizing novel carbon substrates in this organism are still not fully understood. This paper provides a comprehensive inventory of thermodynamically feasible routes for anaerobic methane oxidation, co-reactant utilization, and maximum carbon yields of major biofuel candidates by M. acetivorans....

  3. 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. PMID:25164558

  4. International Variability in Biofuel Trade: An Assessment of U.S. Policies

    OpenAIRE

    Yano, Yuki; Blandford, David; Surry, Yves R.

    2011-01-01

    Although the United States has typically been in a position to import ethanol, corn-based ethanol exports are surging as the domestic market becomes saturated and world prices rise due to high prices for sugar, the competing global feedstock. The U.S. is now the world’s leading ethanol producer but domestic demand is constrained because of technical limitations in the current vehicle fleet. Higher ethanol blends have been approved for use (15% rather than 10%) but a limited number of vehicles...

  5. A review of variability in indirect land use change assessment and modeling in biofuel policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: ► ILUC contributes a significant fraction of biofuel life-cycle carbon intensity. ► ILUC modeling approaches are varied and produce different results. ► The amount of forest conversion predicted has a large impact on GHG estimates. ► Conservation of forests should be a primary focus to lessen the impacts of ILUC. -- Abstract: The inclusion of indirect land use change (ILUC) can dramatically affect the calculated greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits of biofuels in comparison to conventional fuels. Due to the potential magnitude and impacts of ILUC, this concept is being included in many biofuel policies, such as the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) and California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The approaches to modeling ILUC are complex and fraught with uncertainties, and results tend to lack agreement. In this work, we have investigated the modeling approaches and emission factor databases employed to determine their effects on ILUC variability in several key studies, with particular focus on U.S. policy. The amount and location of ILUC, which is predicted by agro-economic models, vary greatly from the studies investigated: Searchinger et al. (2008) predicted more than twice the amount of land conversion compared to more recent studies that have used updated models. Even more influential, yet more understated, is the estimation of the type of land converted, since conversion of forests results in significantly greater GHG emissions than conversion from other land types, and RFS2 and LCFS have estimated only a fraction of conversion of forest in comparison to Searchinger. Additionally, many studies investigated have relied on the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) emission factor database to determine GHG emissions from ILUC, but each has applied data differently to arrive at different results. It is recognized that this database is coarse, so a more spatially explicit approach in the Winrock database, which has carbon stock data for over 750

  6. Life Cycle Assessment of Biogas/Biofuel Production from Organic Waste

    OpenAIRE

    Seldal, Tiril Jeanette

    2014-01-01

    The focus on energy production is important today and will be of even bigger importance in the future. With an increase in the world’s population and at the same time a more energy demanding one the energy issue is and will be one aspect that will involve all of us. The demand and environmental impacts will require that an increasing share of the energy will be renewable. Waste systems has therefore become of bigger interests in the resent years.This thesis has looked at biogas/biofuel p...

  7. 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

    2012-06-01

    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. PMID:22467143

  8. Energy intensity, life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, and economic assessment of liquid biofuel pipelines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strogen, Bret; Horvath, Arpad; Zilberman, David

    2013-12-01

    Petroleum fuels are predominantly transported domestically by pipelines, whereas biofuels are almost exclusively transported by rail, barge, and truck. As biofuel production increases, new pipelines may become economically attractive. Location-specific variables impacting pipeline viability include construction costs, availability and costs of alternative transportation modes, electricity prices and emissions (if priced), throughput, and subsurface temperature. When transporting alcohol or diesel-like fuels, pipelines have a lower direct energy intensity than rail, barge, and trucks if fluid velocity is under 1 m/s for 4-inch diameter pipelines and 2 m/s for 8-inch or larger pipelines. Across multiple hypothetical state-specific scenarios, profit-maximizing design velocities range from 1.2 to 1.9 m/s. In costs and GHG emissions, optimized pipelines outperform trucks in each state and rail and barge in most states, if projected throughput exceeds four billion liters/year. If emissions are priced, optimum design diameters typically increase to reduce pumping energy demands, increasing the cost-effectiveness of pipeline projects. PMID:24119498

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    investigation of low molecular weight (LMW) organic acids linked to the kerogen matrix is presented. These LMW organic acids form a potential feedstock for deep microbial populations. Twelve coal samples of different maturity (vitrinite reflectance (R0) of 0.28–0.80%) from several coal mines on the North and...... South Island of New Zealand (NZ) were examined to assess the amount of bound LMW organic acids. Formate, acetate and oxalate were detected in significant amounts whereas the amounts of these compounds decrease with increasing maturity of the coal sample. This decrease of LMW organic acids mainly...... 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....

  11. Biofuel market and carbon modeling to evaluate French biofuel policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In order to comply with European objectives, France has set up an ambitious biofuel plan. This plan is evaluated considering two criteria: tax exemption need and GHG emission savings. An economic marginal analysis and a life cycle assessment (LCA) are provided using a coupling procedure between a partial agro-industrial equilibrium model and a refining optimization model. Thus, we are able to determine the minimum tax exemption needed to place on the market a targeted quantity of biofuel by deducing the agro-industrial marginal cost of biofuel production to the biofuel refining long-run marginal revenue. In parallel, a biofuels LCA is carried out using model outputs. Such a method avoid common allocation problems between joint products. The French biofuel plan is evaluated for 2008, 2010 and 2012 using prospective scenarios. Results suggest that biofuel competitiveness depends on crude oil prices and petroleum products demands. Consequently, biofuel tax exemption does not always appear to be necessary. LCA results show that biofuels production and use, from 'seed to wheel', would facilitate the French Government's to compliance with its 'Plan Climat' objectives by reducing up to 5% GHG emissions in the French road transport sector by 2010. (authors)

  12. Biofuel market and carbon modeling to analyse French biofuel policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In order to comply with European Union objectives, France has set up an ambitious biofuel plan. This plan is evaluated on the basis of two criteria: tax exemption on fossil fuels and greenhouse gases (GHG) emission savings. An economic marginal analysis and a life cycle assessment (LCA) are provided using a coupling procedure between a partial agro-industrial equilibrium model and an oil refining optimization model. Thus, we determine the minimum tax exemption needed to place on the market a targeted quantity of biofuel by deducting the biofuel long-run marginal revenue of refiners from the agro-industrial marginal cost of biofuel production. With a clear view of the refiner's economic choices, total pollutant emissions along the biofuel production chains are quantified and used to feed an LCA. The French biofuel plan is evaluated for 2008, 2010 and 2012 using prospective scenarios. Results suggest that biofuel competitiveness depends on crude oil prices and demand for petroleum products and consequently these parameters should be taken into account by authorities to modulate biofuel tax exemption. LCA results show that biofuel production and use, from ''seed to wheel'', would facilitate the French Government's compliance with its ''Plan Climat'' objectives by reducing up to 5% GHG emissions in the French road transport sector by 2010. (author)

  13. 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.

  14. An overview of biofuel technologies, markets and policies in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    For fuels produced from biomass, various conversion routes are available that follow from the different types of biomass that can serve as a feedstock. These conversion technologies are discussed in both technological and economic terms. For each route, the fuel characteristics of the biofuel are described and compared to those of the fossil fuel it can replace, either petrol or diesel. Currently, the European biofuel market only consists of biodiesel (e.g. Rapeseed Methyl Ester, RME) and ethanol (and its derivative ETBE). The production and application of these biofuels is discussed for the most important biofuel countries in the European Union and the countries in which the use of biofuels is less developed. The report also describes national and European policies aimed at stimulating the production and application of biofuels. There is a special focus on two European Directive proposals on the promotion of the use of biofuels in transport and the process towards adoption of these Directives

  15. 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

  16. Biofuels and Sustainable Transport: A Conceptual Discussion

    OpenAIRE

    Geoffrey Gilpin; Erling Holden

    2013-01-01

    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...

  17. Biofuels sources, biofuel policy, biofuel economy and global biofuel projections

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The term biofuel is referred to liquid, gas and solid fuels predominantly produced from biomass. Biofuels include energy security reasons, environmental concerns, foreign exchange savings, and socioeconomic issues related to the rural sector. Biofuels include bioethanol, biomethanol, vegetable oils, biodiesel, biogas, bio-synthetic gas (bio-syngas), bio-oil, bio-char, Fischer-Tropsch liquids, and biohydrogen. Most traditional biofuels, such as ethanol from corn, wheat, or sugar beets, and biodiesel from oil seeds, are produced from classic agricultural food crops that require high-quality agricultural land for growth. Bioethanol is a petrol additive/substitute. Biomethanol can be produced from biomass using bio-syngas obtained from steam reforming process of biomass. Biomethanol is considerably easier to recover than the bioethanol from biomass. Ethanol forms an azeotrope with water so it is expensive to purify the ethanol during recovery. Methanol recycles easier because it does not form an azeotrope. Biodiesel is an environmentally friendly alternative liquid fuel that can be used in any diesel engine without modification. There has been renewed interest in the use of vegetable oils for making biodiesel due to its less polluting and renewable nature as against the conventional petroleum diesel fuel. Due to its environmental merits, the share of biofuel in the automotive fuel market will grow fast in the next decade. There are several reasons for biofuels to be considered as relevant technologies by both developing and industrialized countries. Biofuels include energy security reasons, environmental concerns, foreign exchange savings, and socioeconomic issues related to the rural sector. The biofuel economy will grow rapidly during the 21st century. Its economy development is based on agricultural production and most people live in the rural areas. In the most biomass-intensive scenario, modernized biomass energy contributes by 2050 about one half of total energy

  18. 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. PMID:24528291

  19. Biofuels and sustainability in Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The combined effects of climate change, the continued volatility of fuel prices, the recent food crisis and global economic turbulence have triggered a sense of urgency among policymakers, industries and development practitioners to find sustainable and viable solutions in the area of biofuels. This sense of urgency is reflected in the rapid expansion of global biofuels production and markets over the past few years. Biofuels development offers developing countries some prospect of self-reliant energy supplies at national and local levels, with potential economic, ecological, social, and security benefits. Forty-two African countries are net oil importers. This makes them particularly vulnerable to volatility in global fuel prices and dependent on foreign exchange to cover their domestic energy needs. The goal therefore is to reduce the high dependence on imported petroleum by developing domestic, renewable energy. But can this objective be achieved while leaving a minimal social and environmental footprint? A fundamental question is if biofuels can be produced with consideration of social, economic and environmental factors without setting unrealistic expectation for an evolving renewable energy industry that holds such great promise. The overall performance of different biofuels in reducing non-renewable energy use and greenhouse gas emissions varies when considering the entire lifecycle from production through to use. The net performance depends on the type of feedstock, the production process and the amount of non-renewable energy needed. This paper presents an overview of the development of biofuels in Africa, and highlights country-specific economic, environmental and social issues. It proposes a combination framework of policy incentives as a function of technology maturity, discusses practices, processes and technologies that can improve efficiency, lower energy and water demand, and further reduce the social and environmental footprint of biofuels

  20. 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. PMID:26479184

  1. 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. PMID:24950095

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  3. 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

  4. Assessing the Environmental Performance of Integrated Ethanol and Biogas Production: : Quantifying Industrial Symbiosis in the Biofuel Industry

    OpenAIRE

    Martin, Michael; Svensson, Niclas; Jorge FONSECA

    2011-01-01

    As the production of biofuels continues to expand worldwide, criticism about many issues, including the energy output versus input and the competition with food, has been raised andthe sustainability of biofuels in recent years has been constantly debated. However, the current biofuel systems may be optimized to increase the energy efficiency and environmentalperformance. By using concepts from industrial symbiosis, the material and energy exchangesmay be optimized to result in these performa...

  5. The impacts of biofuel targets on land-use change and food supply : a global CGE assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Timilsina, Govinda R.; John C. Beghin; van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique; Mevel, Simon

    2010-01-01

    This study analyzes the long-term impacts of large-scale expansion of biofuels on land-use change, food supply and prices, and the overall economy in various countries or regions using a global computable general equilibrium model, augmented by a land-use module and detailed representation of biofuel sectors. The study finds that an expansion of global biofuel production to meet currently ...

  6. Biomass Feedstock and Conversion Supply System Design and Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacob J. Jacobson; Mohammad S. Roni; Patrick Lamers; Kara G. Cafferty

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davison Gumbo

    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.

  8. Biofuels securing the planet's future energy needs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The biofuels include bioethanol, biobutanol, biodiesel, vegetable oils, biomethanol, pyrolysis oils, biogas, and biohydrogen. There are two global biomass based liquid transportation fuels that might replace gasoline and diesel fuel. These are bioethanol and biodiesel. World production of biofuel was about 68 billion L in 2007. The primary feedstocks of bioethanol are sugarcane and corn. Bioethanol is a gasoline additive/substitute. Bioethanol is by far the most widely used biofuel for transportation worldwide. About 60% of global bioethanol production comes from sugarcane and 40% from other crops. Biodiesel refers to a diesel-equivalent mono alkyl ester based oxygenated fuel. Biodiesel production using inedible vegetable oil, waste oil and grease has become more attractive recently. The economic performance of a biodiesel plant can be determined once certain factors are identified, such as plant capacity, process technology, raw material cost and chemical costs. The central policy of biofuel concerns job creation, greater efficiency in the general business environment, and protection of the environment.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.)

  11. 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. PMID:25710677

  12. A resilience perspective on biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Dongyan; Seager, Thomas P; Rao, P Suresh C; Park, Jeryang; Zhao, Fu

    2011-07-01

    The recent investment boom and collapse of the corn ethanol industry calls into question the long-term sustainability of traditional approaches to biofuel technologies. Compared with petroleum-based transportation fuels, biofuel production systems are more closely connected to complex and variable natural systems. Especially as biofeedstock production itself becomes more independent of fossil fuel-based supports, stochasticity will become an increasingly important, inherent feature of biofuel feedstock production systems. Accordingly, a fundamental change in design philosophy is necessary to ensure the long-term viability of the biofuels industry. To respond effectively to unexpected disruptions, the new approach will require systems to be designed for resilience (indicated by diversity, efficiency, cohesion, and adaptability) rather than more narrowly defined measures of efficiency. This paper addresses important concepts in the design of coupled engineering-ecological systems (resistance, resilience, adaptability, and transformability) and examines biofuel conversion technologies from a resilience perspective. Conversion technologies that can accommodate multiple feedstocks and final products are suggested to enhance the diversity and flexibility of the entire industry. PMID:21309075

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The Impacts of Biofuels Targets on Land-Use Change and Food Supply: A Global Cge Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Timilsina, Govinda; John C. Beghin; van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique; Mevel, Simon

    2010-01-01

    We analyze the long-term impacts of large-scale expansion of biofuels on land-use change, food supply and prices, and the overall economy in various countries or regions using a multi-country, multi-sector global computable general equilibrium model augmented with an explicit land-use module and detailed biofuel sectors. We find that an expansion of biofuel production to meet the existing or even higher targets in various countries would slightly reduce GDP at the global level but with mixed ...

  17. Learning of the root factors of incidents potentially impacting the biofuel supply chains from some 100 significant cases

    OpenAIRE

    Riviere, Carine; Marlair, Guy; Vignes, Alexis

    2010-01-01

    A biofuel is most often defined as a liquid or gaseous fuel used for transport purposes that can be produced from biomass substrates or bioresources. There are numerous potential supply chains for the production of biofuels, depending on feedstock, conventional or advanced processes, and final end use. AH stakeholders involved in the promotion of more sustainable biofuels highly welcomed the area of industrialization of so called 2nd génération type of biofuels. However existing facilities pr...

  18. A Global Model for Agriculture and Bioenergy: Application to Biofuel and Food Security in Peru and Tanzania

    OpenAIRE

    Elbehri, Aziz; McDougall, Robert; Horridge, Mark

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes a global model for agriculture and bioenergy (GLOMAB) that incorporates biomass, biofuels and bioelectricity sectors into the GTAP-Energy model by expanding the global GTAP database, production and consumption structures. Biofuels are separated between first- generation (sugar ethanol, starch ethanol) and second- generation (cellulosic ethanol) biofuels and associated biomass feedstocks (maize, sugar cane, crop residues, woody biomass). Beside biofuels, the model also inc...

  19. 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).

  20. 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. PMID:25676392

  1. Assessing the uncertainties of climate policies and mitigation measures. Viewpoints on biofuel production, grid electricity consumption and differentiation of emission reduction commitments

    OpenAIRE

    Soimakallio, Sampo

    2012-01-01

    Ambitious climate change mitigation requires the implementation of effective and equitable climate policy and GHG emission reduction measures. The objective of this study was to explore the significance of the uncertainties related to GHG emission reduction measures and policies by providing viewpoints on biofuels production, grid electricity consumption and differentiation of emission reduction commitments between countries and country groups. Life cycle assessment (LCA) and macro-level scen...

  2. Simulation-based life cycle assessment of energy efficiency of biomass-based ethanol fuel from different feedstocks in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Interests in biomass-based fuel ethanol (BFE) have been re-boosted due to oil shortage and environmental deterioration. Biomass-based fuel ethanol is renewable and, apparently, environmentally friendly. Biomass-based E10 (a blend of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline by volume) is a promising conventional gasoline substitute, because vehicle engines require no modifications to run on E10 and vehicle warranties are unaffected. This paper presented life cycle assessments (LCAs) of energy efficiency of wheat-based E10 from central China, corn-based E10 from northeast China, and cassava-based E10 from southwest China. The respective energy flow-based evaluation model of wheat-, corn-, and cassava-based E10 was built based on data from pilot BFE plants. Monte Carlo method is applied to deal with the uncertain parameters and input and output variables of the evaluation model because of its wide application and easy development of statistical dispersion of calculated quantities. According to the assessment results, the average energy input/output ratio of wheat-based fuel ethanol (WFE), corn-based fuel ethanol (CFE), and cassava-based fuel ethanol (KFE) is 0.70, 0.75, and 0.54, respectively, and biomass-based E10 vehicle can have less fossil energy demand than gasoline-fueled ones.

  3. Ecological assessment and economic feasibility to utilize first generation biofuels in cogeneration output cycle - The case of Lithuania

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raslavicius, Laurencas [Lithuanian University of Agriculture, Institute of Agro-Engineering, Department of Biotechnological Engineering, Instituto g. 20, LT-54132, Raudondvaris, Kaunas region (Lithuania); Bazaras, Zilvinas [Department of Mechanical Technology, Kaunas University of Technology, Panevezys Institute, S. Daukanto g. 12, LT-35212 Panevezys (Lithuania)

    2010-09-15

    In this article, diverse liquid biofuels of the first generation were compared as partial or infant substitutes for fossil diesel fuel applied in cogeneration plant of the average capacity of 340 kW. The study concentrates on agricultural and economic conditions as well as legislative basis distinctive to Lithuania. At the laboratory of the Lithuanian University of Agriculture Institute of Agro-Engineering an experimental diesel engine powered generator was fuelled with rapeseed oil methyl ester (pure and in the blend with fossil diesel and dyed diesel fuels) and rapeseed oil with excellent energy balances and emissions characteristics more favorable than fossil diesel. Detailed estimations were proposed in order to assess the economic feasibility of complementing renewable electricity and heat generated in the final output cycle. The carried out analysis showed, that good perspectives are forecasted for using diesel engines in cogeneration plants, if they run on rapeseed oil produced by farmers themselves. The operation of such a plant would realize 184960 EUR of annual income for sold electricity, allowing to pay annual depreciation expenses and exceed the production cost for thermal energy to be 0.033 EUR/kW h. This price lies under the established one by the centralized energy suppliers, accordingly 0.058 EUR/kW h. (author)

  4. Ecological assessment and economic feasibility to utilize first generation biofuels in cogeneration output cycle - The case of Lithuania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this article, diverse liquid biofuels of the first generation were compared as partial or infant substitutes for fossil diesel fuel applied in cogeneration plant of the average capacity of 340 kW. The study concentrates on agricultural and economic conditions as well as legislative basis distinctive to Lithuania. At the laboratory of the Lithuanian University of Agriculture Institute of Agro-Engineering an experimental diesel engine powered generator was fuelled with rapeseed oil methyl ester (pure and in the blend with fossil diesel and dyed diesel fuels) and rapeseed oil with excellent energy balances and emissions characteristics more favorable than fossil diesel. Detailed estimations were proposed in order to assess the economic feasibility of complementing renewable electricity and heat generated in the final output cycle. The carried out analysis showed, that good perspectives are forecasted for using diesel engines in cogeneration plants, if they run on rapeseed oil produced by farmers themselves. The operation of such a plant would realize 184960 EUR of annual income for sold electricity, allowing to pay annual depreciation expenses and exceed the production cost for thermal energy to be 0.033 EUR/kW h. This price lies under the established one by the centralized energy suppliers, accordingly 0.058 EUR/kW h. (author)

  5. Employment impacts of EU biofuels policy. Combining bottom-up technology information and sectoral market simulations in an input-output framework

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper analyses the employment consequences of policies aimed to support biofuels in the European Union. The promotion of biofuel use has been advocated as a means to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions originating from transport activities on the one hand, and to reduce dependence on imported oil and thereby increase security of the European energy supply on the other hand. The employment impacts of increasing biofuels shares are calculated by taking into account a set of elements comprising the demand for capital goods required to produce biofuels, the additional demand for agricultural feedstock, higher fuel prices or reduced household budget in the case of price subsidisation, price effects ensuing from a hypothetical world oil price reduction linked to substitution in the EU market, and price impacts on agro-food commodities. The calculations refer to scenarios for the year 2020 targets as set out by the recent Renewable Energy Roadmap. Employment effects are assessed in an input-output framework taking into account bottom-up technology information to specify biofuels activities and linked to partial equilibrium models for the agricultural and energy sectors. The simulations suggest that biofuels targets on the order of 10-15% could be achieved without adverse net employment effects. (author)

  6. 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.

  7. Trading greenhouse gas emission benefits from biofuel use in US transportation: Challenges and opportunities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Replacing petroleum fuels with biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel has been shown to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These GHG benefits can potentially be traded in the fledgling carbon markets, and methodologies for quantifying and trading are still being developed. We review the main challenges in developing such carbon trading frameworks and outline a proposed framework for the US, the main features of which include, lifecycle assessment of GHG benefits, a combination of project-specific and standard performance measures, and assigning GHG property rights to biofuel producers. At carbon prices of 10 $ t−1, estimated monetary benefits from such trading can be 4.5 M$ hm−3 and 17 M$ hm−3 of corn ethanol and cellulosic ethanol respectively. -- Highlights: ▶ Develops a biofuel GHG trading protocol using life-cycle emissions. ▶ Discusses the differences in feedstock and impacts on GHG trading potential. ▶ Compares the developed protocol for biofuels with other existing protocols. ▶ Estimates the market potential, and challenges associated with trading GHG emissions.

  8. Panorama 2007: New Bio-fuel Technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    New pathways are emerging in the wake of the boom in the biofuels market. Their development is driven by the search for improved product quality and a broader range of natural plant feedstock. Interested in these new pathways, the oil companies are seeking to differentiate themselves on a market that promises to be very competitive in future. This is a turning point in a sector that has historically been dominated by agro-food companies. (author)

  9. 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.

  10. Bioenergy Landscape Design to Minimize the Environmental Impacts of Feedstock Cultivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, J.; Dinh, T.; Paustian, K.

    2012-12-01

    The United States has adopted aggressive mandates for the use of biofuels in an attempt to improve domestic energy security, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transportation sector, and stimulate rural development. The Renewable Fuel Standard requires that the environmental impact of all conventional, advanced, and cellulosic biofuels be evaluated through standardized lifecycle assessment (LCA) techniques relative to a baseline of petroleum-derived gasoline and diesel fuels. A significant fraction of the energy use, GHG emissions, and water quality impact of the production of all types of biofuel occurs during the cultivation of feedstocks (either starch- or oil-based or lignocellulosic), which requires some combination of crop switching, land use change, or cultivation intensification. Furthermore, these impacts exhibit a high degree of spatial variability with local climate, soil type, land use history, and farm management practices. Here we present a spatially-explicit LCA methodology based on the DayCent soil biogeochemistry model capable of accurately evaluating cultivation impacts for a variety of biofuel feedstocks. This methodology considers soil GHG emissions and nitrate leaching as well as the embodied emissions of agricultural inputs and fuels used for field operations and biomass transport to a centralized collection point (biorefinery or transportation hub). Model results are incorporated into a biomass production cost analysis in order to identify the impact of different system designs on production cost. Finally, the resulting multi-criteria optimization problem is solved by monetizing all environmental externalities based on figures from the non-market valuation literature and using a heuristic optimization algorithm to identify optimal cultivation areas and collection point locations to minimize overall environmental impacts at lowest possible cost. Preliminary analysis results are presented for an illustrative case study of switchgrass

  11. An exergy based assessment of the production and conversion of switchgrass, equine waste and forest residue to bio-oil using fast pyrolysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    The resource efficiency of biofuel production via biomass pyrolysis is evaluated using exergy as an assessment metric. Three feedstocks, important to various sectors of US agriculture, switchgrass, forest residue and equine waste are considered for conversion to bio-oil (pyrolysis oil) via fast pyro...

  12. Potential for Genetic Improvement of Sugarcane as a Source of Biomass for Biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Hoang, Nam V.; Furtado, Agnelo; Botha, Frederik C.; Simmons, Blake A.; Robert J. Henry

    2015-01-01

    Sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrids) has great potential as a major feedstock for biofuel production worldwide. It is considered among the best options for producing biofuels today due to an exceptional biomass production capacity, high carbohydrate (sugar + fiber) content, and a favorable energy input/output ratio. To maximize the conversion of sugarcane biomass into biofuels, it is imperative to generate improved sugarcane varieties with better biomass degradability. However, unlike many dipl...

  13. Potential for genetic improvement of sugarcane as a source of biomass for biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Hoang, Nam V.; Agnelo eFurtado; Botha, Frederik C.; Simmons, Blake A.; Robert J. Henry

    2015-01-01

    Sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrids) has great potential as a major feedstock for biofuel production worldwide. It is considered among the best options for producing biofuels today due to an exceptional biomass production capacity, high carbohydrate (sugar+fiber) content and a favorable energy input/output ratio. To maximize the conversion of sugarcane biomass into biofuels, it is imperative to generate improved sugarcane varieties with better biomass degradability. However, unlike many diploid...

  14. A GIS COST MODEL TO ASSESS THE AVAILABILITY OF FRESHWATER, SEAWATER, AND SALINE GROUNDWATER FOR ALGAL BIOFUEL PRODUCTION IN THE UNITED STATES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Venteris, Erik R.; Skaggs, Richard; Coleman, Andre M.; Wigmosta, Mark S.

    2013-03-15

    A key advantage of using microalgae for biofuel production is the ability of some algal strains to thrive in waters unsuitable for conventional crop irrigation such as saline groundwater or seawater. Nonetheless, the availability of sustainable water supplies will provide significant challenges for scale-up and development of algal biofuels. We conduct a limited techno-economic assessment based on the availability of freshwater, saline groundwater, and seawater for use in open pond algae cultivation systems. We explore water issues through GIS-based models of algae biofuel production, freshwater supply, and cost models for supplying seawater and saline groundwater. We estimate that combined, within the coterminous US these resources can support production on the order of 9.46E+7 m3 yr-1 (25 billion gallons yr-1) of renewable biodiesel. Achievement of larger targets requires the utilization of less water efficient sites and relatively expensive saline waters. Geographically, water availability is most favorable for the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida peninsula, where evaporation relative to precipitation is moderate and various saline waters are economically available. As a whole, barren and scrub lands of the southwestern US have limited freshwater supplies so accurate assessment of alternative waters is critical.

  15. Biodiesel from conventional feedstocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Wei; Liu, De-Hua

    2012-01-01

    At present, traditional fossil fuels are used predominantly in China, presenting the country with challenges that include sustainable energy supply, energy efficiency improvement, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2007, China issued The Strategic Plan of the Mid-and-Long Term Development of Renewable Energy, which aims to increase the share of clean energy in the country's energy consumption to 15% by 2020 from only 7.5% in 2005. Biodiesel, an important renewable fuel with significant advantages over fossil diesel, has attracted great attention in the USA and European countries. However, biodiesel is still in its infancy in China, although its future is promising. This chapter reviews biodiesel production from conventional feedstocks in the country, including feedstock supply and state of the art technologies for the transesterification reaction through which biodiesel is made, particularly the enzymatic catalytic process developed by Chinese scientists. Finally, the constraints and perspectives for China's biodiesel development are highlighted. PMID:22085921

  16. Global assessment of research and development for algae biofuel production and its potential role for sustainable development in developing countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The possibility of economically deriving fuel from cultivating algae biomass is an attractive addition to the range of measures to relieve the current reliance on fossil fuels. Algae biofuels avoid some of the previous drawbacks associated with crop-based biofuels as the algae do not compete with food crops. The favourable growing conditions found in many developing countries has led to a great deal of speculation about their potentials for reducing oil imports, stimulating rural economies, and even tackling hunger and poverty. By reviewing the status of this technology we suggest that the large uncertainties make it currently unsuitable as a priority for many developing countries. Using bibliometric and patent data analysis, we indicate that many developing countries lack the human capital to develop their own algae industry or adequately prepare policies to support imported technology. Also, we discuss the potential of modern biotechnology, especially genetic modification (GM) to produce new algal strains that are easier to harvest and yield more oil. Controversy surrounding the use of GM and weak biosafety regulatory system represents a significant challenge to adoption of GM technology in developing countries. A range of policy measures are also suggested to ensure that future progress in algae biofuels can contribute to sustainable development. - Highlights: • Algae biofuels can make positive contribution to sustainable development in developing countries. • Bibliometric and patent data indicate that many lack the human capital to develop their own algae industry. • Large uncertainties make algae biofuels currently unsuitable as a priority for many developing countries

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Use of algae as biofuel sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The aim of this study is to investigate the algae production technologies such as open, closed and hybrid systems, production costs, and algal energy conversions. Liquid biofuels are alternative fuels promoted with potential to reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports. Biofuels production costs can vary widely by feedstock, conversion process, scale of production and region. Algae will become the most important biofuel source in the near future. Microalgae appear to be the only source of renewable biodiesel that is capable of meeting the global demand for transport fuels. Microalgae can be converted to bio-oil, bioethanol, bio-hydrogen and bimethane via thermochemical and biochemical methods. Microalgae are theoretically very promising source of biodiesel.

  2. Biofuel on contaminated land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suer, Pascal; Andersson-Sköld, Yvonne; Blom, Sonja; Bardos, Paul; Polland, Marcel; Track, Thomas

    2010-05-01

    Desktop studies of two Swedish contaminated sites has indicated that growing biofuel crops on these sites may be more environmentally beneficial than alternative risk management approaches such as excavation / removal or containment The demand for biofuel increases pressure on the cultivatable soil of the world. While contaminated land is not very suitable for food production, cultivation of low and medium contaminated soil may remove some pressure from agricultural soils. For larger sites, biofuel cultivation may be economically viable without a remediation bonus. Suitable sites have topographic conditions that allow agricultural machinery, are not in urgent need of remediation, and contamination levels are not plant toxic. Life cycle assessment (LCA) was done for two cases. The (desk top) case studies were - Case K, a 5000 m2 site where salix (willow) was cultivated with hand-held machinery and the biofuel harvest was left on site, and - Case F, a 12 ha site were on site ensuring was being considered, and were salix might have rented an economic profit if the remediation had not been urgent due to exploitation pressure. Some selected results for biofuel K; biofuel F; excavation K; and on site ensuring F respectively: Energy: 0,05; 1,4; 3,5; 19 TJ Waste: 1; 9; 1200; 340 ton Land use off-site: 190; 3 500; 200 000; 1 400 000 m² a Global warming: 3; 86; 230; 1 200 ton CO2 eq Acidification: 25; 1 000; 2 600; 14 000 kg SO2 eq Photochemical smog: 10; 180; 410; 2 300 kg ethene eq Human health: 2; 51; 150; 620 index The environmental impact of the traditional remediation methods of excavation and on-site ensuring was mainly due to the transport of contaminated soil and replacement soil, and landfilling of the contaminated soil. Biofuel cultivation avoids these impacts, while fertiliser production and agricultural machinery would have a lower environmental impact than moving large volumes of soil around. Journeys of a controller to check on the groundwater quality also

  3. 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...

  4. Improving Biocatalysts for the Production of Biofuels from Lignocellulosic Feedstocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Industrial-scale production of fuel ethanol from biomass continues to show promise for relieving dependence upon petroleum-based transportation fuels. The limited range of materials that can be practically converted, however, continues to be an obstacle to the lignocellulosic revolution. Therefore...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Krystel K. Castillo-Villar; Hertwin Minor-Popocatl; Erin Webb

    2016-01-01

    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 bi...

  6. 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.

  7. Life cycle assessment of biofuels from an integrated Brazilian algae-sugarcane biorefinery

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sugarcane ethanol biorefineries in Brazil produce carbon dioxide, electricity and heat as byproducts. These are essential inputs for algae biodiesel production. In this paper, we assessed ethanol's life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and fossil energy use produced in an integrated sugarcane and algae biorefinery where biodiesel replaces petroleum diesel for all agricultural operations. Carbon dioxide from cane juice fermentation is used as the carbon source for algae cultivation, and sugarcane bagasse is the sole source of energy for the entire facility. Glycerin produced from the biodiesel plant is consumed by algae during the mixotrophic growth phase. We assessed the uncertainties through a detailed Monte-Carlo analysis. We found that this integrated system can improve both the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and the fossil energy use of sugarcane ethanol by around 10% and 50%, respectively, compared to a traditional Brazilian sugarcane ethanol distillery. - Highlights: • A high diesel consumption is associated to the ethanol sugarcane life-cycle. • Sugarcane industry can provide sources of carbon and energy for the algae growing. • The sugarcane-algae integration can improve the ethanol life-cycle performance. • This integration is a promising pathway for the deployment of algae biodiesel. • There are still significant techno-economic barriers associated with algae biodiesel

  8. 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...

  9. Theoretical Assessment of Algal Biomass Potential for Carbon Mitigation and Biofuel Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Sudhakar

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In view of ever increasing global demand for energy, there has been substantial interest in developing renewable biologically produced fuel. Microalgae are one such emerging resource considered as an alternative for biodiesel production. However its realistic potential is often either over estimated or underestimated. In view of this, a rigorous assessment is carried out to evaluate the realistic potential of micro algal biodiesel based on photosynthesis, thermodynamics and physical assumptions. This paper identifies six best regions in each continent for algal biomass cultivation considering both sunlight and local climatic conditions. The mean hourly meteorological data, sunlight, ambient temperature and rainfall information for the identified potential site is combined to estimate annual biomass production, lipid production and carbon mitigation potential. Maximum possible algal biomass yield and oil productivity have been estimated for six global sites at three different scenarios of photosynthetic efficiency 11.42, 6 and 3%. The upper optimistic biomass, oil yield and carbon fixation potential was calculated to be 533 T/ha/yr, 1, 25, 333 L/ha/yr. and 95 Tons CO2/ha/yr. This study provides a baseline data for theoretical maximum, minimum and best estimates of open pond microalgae production systems.

  10. Growth and fatty acid characterization of microalgae isolated from municipal waste-treatment systems and the potential role of algal-associated bacteria in feedstock production

    OpenAIRE

    Stemmler, Kevin; Massimi, Rebecca; Kirkwood, Andrea E.

    2016-01-01

    Much research has focused on growing microalgae for biofuel feedstock, yet there remain concerns about the feasibility of freshwater feedstock systems. To reduce cost and improve environmental sustainability, an ideal microalgal feedstock system would be fed by municipal, agricultural or industrial wastewater as a main source of water and nutrients. Nonetheless, the microalgae must also be tolerant of fluctuating wastewater quality, while still producing adequate biomass and lipid yields. To ...

  11. Bioethanol: fuel or feedstock?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rass-Hansen, Jeppe; Falsig, Hanne; Jørgensen, Betina;

    2007-01-01

    Increasing amounts of bioethanol are being produced from fermentation of biomass, mainly to counteract the continuing depletion of fossil resources and the consequential escalation of oil prices. Today, bioethanol is mainly utilized as a fuel or fuel additive in motor vehicles, but it could also be...... used as a versatile feedstock in the chemical industry. Currently the production of carbon-containing commodity chemicals is dependent on fossil resources, and more than 95% of these chemicals are produced from non-renewable carbon resources. The question is: what will be the optimal use of bioethanol...

  12. Assessing the greenhouse gas emissions of waste-derived ethanol in accordance with the EU RED methodology for biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sipilae, E. (Poeyry Forest Industry Consulting Oy, Vantaa (Finland)); Koponen, K.; Soimakallio, S.

    2009-10-15

    Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources in the European Union (EU), also called as RED, was published 5 June 2009 in the Official Journal of the EU (2009/28/EC). It establishes an overall binding target of a 20% share of renewable energy sources in the final energy consumption in the EU by 2020. In addition, a 10% binding minimum target for renewable energy sources in transport is set for each Member State. The RED also introduces environmental sustainability criteria for biofuels and other bioliquids. It states that the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission saving from the use of biofuels and other bioliquids taken into account for the national targets shall be at least 35% for current biofuels, at least 50% after 1 January 2017, and at least 60% after 1 January 2018 for biofuels produced in installations in which production started on or after 1 January 2017. The RED introduces a methodology to calculate the GHG emission savings of biofuels and other bioliquids compared to fossil fuels. In this report the methodology was tested with a case study based on commercial and industrial waste-derived bioethanol production integrated with a CHP plant in Finland. The aim of the report was to study whether the waste ethanol concept gains the 60% GHG emission savings according to the RED methodology or not. Four different interpretations of the RED methodology were considered possible for the studied concept. All these options were calculated with three different process values depending on the need of sterilisation of the waste material and the amount of urea used in the process. Within these four options differences in the system boundary setting and thus allocation of emissions took place resulting in differences in emission saving results. The key question was, whether the CHP plant and the biofuel process were supposed to be treated as one combined process or as two separated ones. The GHG emission savings over 60% were gained when the biofuel

  13. 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...

  14. Lifecycle Analyses of Biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Delucchi, Mark

    2006-01-01

    This manuscript on lifecycle analysis (LCA) of biofuels for transportation has three major parts: * I. An analysis of greenhouse-gas emissions from biofuels, estimated using the Lifecycle Emissions Model (LEM). * II. A review of recent LCAs of biofuels. * III. A comprehensive conceptual framework for doing LCAs of biofuels.

  15. Dry reforming of hydrocarbon feedstocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shah, Yatish T. [Norfolk State University; Gardner, Todd H. [U.S. DOE

    2014-09-25

    Developments in catalyst technology for the dry reforming of hydrocarbon feedstocks are reviewed for methane, higher hydrocarbons and alcohols. Thermodynamics, mechanisms and the kinetics of dry reforming are also reviewed. The literature on Ni catalysts, bi-metallic Ni catalysts and the role of promoters on Ni catalysts is critically evaluated. The use of noble and transitional metal catalysts for dry reforming is discussed. The application of solid oxide and metal carbide catalysts to dry reforming is also evaluated. Finally, various mechanisms for catalyst deactivation are assessed. This review also examines the various process related issues associated with dry reforming such as its application and heat optimization. Novel approaches such as supercritical dry reforming and microwave assisted dry reforming are briefly expanded upon.

  16. 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. PMID:26256682

  17. 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

  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. Potentials of biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munack, A.; Schroder, O. [Johann Heinrich von Thunen Inst., Braunschweig (Germany); Krahl, J. [Coburg Univ. of Applied Sciences, Coburg (Germany); Bunger, J. [Inst. for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Ruhr-Univ. Inst., Bochum (Germany)

    2010-07-01

    This paper discussed the potential of biofuels with particular reference to the situation in Germany and Europe. Emphasis was on technical potential, such as biofuel production, utilization and environmental aspects. The Institute of Agricultural Technology and Biosystems Engineering ran vTI emission tests on diesel engines to evaluate the environmental impacts of biofuels. This testing facility is able to drive heavy-duty diesel engines in both stationary and dynamic test cycles, such as the European ESC and ETC. Additional analyses were conducted to determine the fine and ultra-fine particles, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), aldehydes, ketones, and the usual regulated exhaust gas compounds. Ames tests were conducted to assess the mutagenic potential of tailpipe emissions. Previous study results showed that neat vegetable oils can render the exhaust high in mutagenic potency. Some of the non-regulated exhaust gas compounds were found to vary nonlinearly with the blend composition. B20 was found to have high mutagenic potential and was subject to sedimentation.

  20. Liquid biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This is a brief conference paper on the use of biofuels in vehicles, especially in Sweden. Vegetable oils replace only diesel. In Sweden, the vegetable oil most often used is rape-seed oil. These oils are not very efficient in ''raw'' form and are used as basis in esters, such as rape-seed methyl ester (RME). Although RME is renewable, biobased and reduces the atmospheric CO2 emission, it increases the emission of nitrogen oxides, it may cause startup problems in cold weather and is not stable when stored for long. Most RME available in Sweden is imported and the potential for increased Swedish production is very limited. By using methanol and ethanol both petrol and diesel can be replaced. While mixtures of petrol and alcohols are being used increasingly, mixtures of diesel and alcohols are unstable and their use requires technological development

  1. 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.

  2. Fuelling biofuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Canadian government has recently committed to legislation ensuring that all transportation fuels will be supplemented with biofuels by 2010. This article provided details of a position paper written by the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association in response to the legislation. Details of new research to optimize the future biodiesel industry were also presented. Guiding principles of the paper included the creation of open markets across provincial boundaries; the manipulation of tax structures to make products competitive in the United States; and establishing quality standards via the Canadian General Standards Board. It is expected that the principles will reassure petroleum producers and retailers, as ethanol behaves differently than gasoline in storage tanks. As ethanol is water-absorbing, retailers must flush and vacuum their tanks to remove water, then install 10 micron filters to protect fuel lines and dispenser filters from accumulated gasoline residue loosened by the ethanol. Refineries are concerned that the average content of ethanol remains consistent across the country, as refiners will be reluctant to make different blends for different provinces. Critics of biodiesel claim that it is not energy-intensive enough to meet demand, and biodiesel crops are not an efficient use of soils that could otherwise be used to grow food crops. However, researchers in Saskatchewan are committed to using a variety of methods such as reduced tillage systems to make biodiesel production more efficient. Laboratory research has resulted in improved refining processes and genetic manipulation of potential biodiesel crops. Membrane technology is now being used to select water from ethanol. A process developed by the Ottawa company Iogen Corporation uses enzymatic hydrolysis to break down the tough fibres found in corn stalks, leaves, wood and other biomass into sugars. Scientists are also continuing to improve oil content yields in canola and soybean crops. It was

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Estimates of US biofuels consumption, 1989

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The goals of DOE's Biofuels and Municipal Waste Technology research programs are to develop and provide the technology base for the utilization of biomass (biologically produced sources) and municipal solid waste (MSW) as energy resources in those technical areas where the risks of technology development are too great for industry to assume. DOE research is providing for the development of advanced innovative biofuels technologies are applying biotechnology and genetic engineering techniques to improve the growth, productivity, and energy characteristics of woody, herbaceous, and aquatic biofuel feedstocks. Advances in thermochemical and biochemical conversion technologies are also being pursued for economical and environmentally sound production of steam, electricity, and liquid and gaseous fuels. The objective of this report is to provide updated estimates of biofuels energy consumption in the United States for use by Congress, Federal and State agencies, and other groups involved in activities related to the use of biofuels. The report is based on existing data collection surveys and is not based on any assumptions provided by the requester

  6. What is the Social Value of Second-Generation Biofuels?

    OpenAIRE

    Hertel, Thomas W.; Steinbuks, Jevgenijs; Tyner, Wallace E.

    2014-01-01

    What is second-generation biofuel technology worth to global society? A dynamic, computable partial equilibrium model (called FABLE) is used to assess changes in global land use for crops, livestock, biofuels, forestry, and environmental services, as well as greenhouse gas emissions, with and without second-generation biofuels technology. The difference in the discounted stream of global v...

  7. 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. PMID:24956467

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Effect of multiple-feedstock strategy on the economic and environmental performance of thermochemical ethanol production under extreme weather conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Current US transportation sector mainly relies on liquid hydrocarbons derived from petroleum and about 60% of the petroleum consumed is from areas where supply may be disturbed by regional instability. This has led to serious concerns on energy security and global warming. To address these issues, numerous alternative energy carriers have been proposed. Among them, second generation biofuel is one of the most promising technologies. Gasification-based thermochemical conversion will bring flexibility to both feedstock and production sides of a plant, thus presents an attractive technical route to address both the energy security and global warming concerns. In this paper, thermochemical ethanol production using multiple-feedstock (corn stover, municipal solid waste, and wood chips) is simulated using Aspen Plus and compared with the single-feedstock scenario, in terms of economic performances, life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and survivability under extreme weather conditions. For a hypothetical facility in southwest Indiana it is found that multiple-feedstock strategy improves the net present value by 18% compared to single-feedstock strategy. This margin is increased to 57% when effects of extreme weather conditions on feedstock supply are considered. Moreover, multiple-feedstock fuel plant has no potential risk of bankruptcy during the payback period, while single-feedstock fuel plant has a 75% chance of bankruptcy. Although the multiple-feedstock strategy has 26% more GHG emission per liter of ethanol produced than the single-feedstock strategy, the trend is reversed if feedstock supply disruption is taken into account. Thus the idea of multiple-feedstock strategy is proposed to the future thermo chemical biofuel plants.

  12. Effect of multiple-feedstock strategy on the economic and environmental performance of thermochemical ethanol production under extreme weather conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Current US transportation sector mainly relies on liquid hydrocarbons derived from petroleum and about 60% of the petroleum consumed is from areas where supply may be disturbed by regional instability. This has led to serious concerns on energy security and global warming. To address these issues, numerous alternative energy carriers have been proposed. Among them, second generation biofuel is one of the most promising technologies. Gasification-based thermochemical conversion will bring flexibility to both feedstock and production sides of a plant, thus presents an attractive technical route to address both the energy security and global warming concerns. In this paper, thermochemical ethanol production using multiple-feedstock (corn stover, municipal solid waste, and wood chips) is simulated using Aspen Plus and compared with the single-feedstock scenario, in terms of economic performances, life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and survivability under extreme weather conditions. For a hypothetical facility in southwest Indiana it is found that multiple-feedstock strategy improves the net present value by 18% compared to single-feedstock strategy. This margin is increased to 57% when effects of extreme weather conditions on feedstock supply are considered. Moreover, multiple-feedstock fuel plant has no potential risk of bankruptcy during the payback period, while single-feedstock fuel plant has a 75% chance of bankruptcy. Although the multiple-feedstock strategy has 26% more GHG emission per liter of ethanol produced than the single-feedstock strategy, the trend is reversed if feedstock supply disruption is taken into account. Thus the idea of multiple-feedstock strategy is proposed to the future thermo chemical biofuel plants. (author)

  13. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the biofuel production process from sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and soybean oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanz Requena, J.F.; Guimaraes, A.C.; Quiros Alpera, S.; Relea Gangas, E.; Hernandez-Navarro, S.; Navas Gracia, L.M.; Martin-Gil, J.; Fresneda Cuesta, H. [Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes, Valladolid (Spain). Dept. of Natural Resources; Valladolid Univ., Palencia (Spain). Dept. of Forest and Agricultural Engineering

    2011-02-15

    Once ratified the Kyoto protocol, Spain arises the great challenge of reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases. Among the measures proposed is the introduction of biofuels in the market, both for the transport sector and for the production of heat. This paper compares the environmental impact from the production of biofuels whose origin is the oil obtained from sunflower, rapeseed and soybeans. The environmental impact of each production is performed by applying the methodology of life cycle analysis (LCA). The categories where you get a greater impact are land use, fossil fuels, carcinogens, inorganic respiratory and climate change. The cause is mainly due to the processes of seed production. We have also found a significant impact on the drying and preparation processes of the seed as well as the crude soybean oil extracting process. Moreover as the LCA shows production of rapeseed and sunflower has a positive contribution to climate change. (author)

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:26093613

  16. 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

  17. BioBoost. Biomass based energy intermediates boosting bio-fuel production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Niebel, Andreas [Karlsruher Institut fuer Technologie (KIT), Karlsruhe (Germany). Institut fuer Katalyseforschung und -technologie (IKFT)

    2013-10-01

    To increase the share of biomass for renewable energy in Europe conversion pathways which are economic, flexible in feedstock and energy efficient are needed. The BioBoost project concentrates on dry and wet residual biomass and wastes as feedstock for de-central conversion by fast pyrolysis, catalytic pyrolysis and hydrothermal carbonization to the intermediate energy carriers oil, coal or slurry. Based on straw the energy density increases from 2 to 20-30 GJ/m{sup 3}, enabling central GW scale gasification plants for bio-fuel production. A logistic model for feedstock supply and connection of de-central with central conversion is set up and validated allowing the determination of costs, the number and location of de-central and central sites. Techno/economic and environmental assessment of the value chain supports the optimization of products and processes. The utilization of energy carriers is investigated in existing and coming applications of heat and power production and synthetic fuels and chemicals. (orig.)

  18. Socio-economic aspects of different biofuel development pathways

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    There are several policy drivers for biofuels on a larger scale in the EU transport sector, including increased security of energy supply, reduced emission of greenhouse gases (GHG), and new markets for the agricultural sector. The purpose of this socio-economic cost analysis is to provide an overview of the costs of meeting EU biofuels targets, taking into account several external costs and benefits. Biofuels are generally more expensive than traditional fossil fuels, but the expected increasing value of GHG emission reductions will over time reduce the cost gap. High crude oil prices significantly improve the economic benefit of biofuels, but increased demand for biomass for energy purposes is likely to increase the price of biofuels feedstock and biofuels costs. The key question is to what extent increasing oil prices will be passed on to biofuels costs. Socio-economic least costs for biofuels production require a market with a clear pricing of GHG emissions to ensure that this factor is included in the decision-making of actors in all links of the fuel chain.

  19. Study of the role of engine control in the value chain for biofuels in modern "ultra clean" engines

    OpenAIRE

    Bjugstad, Line

    2014-01-01

    The climate changes caused by the combustion of fossil fuels in the transportation sector have, along with a decrease in fossil fuel reserves, resulted in an increased interest in developing alternative fuels. Biofuels are one of the most prominent options and with an expansion in the use of these fuels, it is important to understand all aspects of the environmental effect they impose.First generation biofuels are the commercial available biofuels today. Since their feedstock origins from foo...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Contrasts and synergies in different biofuel reports.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalopoulos, A; Landeweerd, L; Van der Werf-Kulichova, Z; Puylaert, P G B; Osseweijer, P

    2011-04-01

    The societal debate on biofuels is characterised by increased complexity. This can hinder the effective governance of the field. This paper attempts a quantitative bird's eye meta-analysis of this complexity by mapping different stakeholder perspectives and expected outcomes as seen in the secondary literature on biofuels, along the lines of the People-Planet-Profit framework. Our analysis illustrates the tension between stated and actual drivers of large scale biofuel development, especially for first generation biofuels. Although environmental (Planet) aspects have dominated the biofuel debate, their overall assessment is mostly negative with regard to first generation biofuels. By contrast, economic (Profit) aspects are the only ones that are assessed positively with regard to first generation biofuels. Furthermore, positive and negative assessments of biofuel development are strongly influenced by the differences in focus between different stakeholder clusters. Stakeholders who appear generally supportive to biofuel development (industry) focus relatively more on aspects that are generally assessed as positive (Profit). By contrast, non-supportive stakeholders (NGO's) tend to focus mainly on aspects that are generally assessed as negative (Planet). Moreover, our analysis of reference lists revealed few citations of primary scientific data, and also that intergovernmental organizations produce the most influential publications in the debate. The surprising lack of listed references to scientific (primary) data reveals a need to assess in which arena the transition of scientific data towards secondary publications takes place, and how one can measure its quality. This work should be understood as a first effort to take some control over a complex and contradictory number of publications, and to allow the effective governance of the field through the identification of areas of overlapping consensus and persisting controversy, without reverting to claims on

  3. Time for commercializing non-food biofuel in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The booming automobile in China has added additional pressure on the country that needs to import almost 50% of its oil. Non-food-based biofuel is a viable fuel alternative for cars. China already has the required-foundation to commercialize non-food-based biofuel. Chinese crop straw and stock, energy crop, and woody biomass that could potentially be converted into energy are projected to be 700 million toe (ton of oil equivalent) in the near future. Meanwhile, Chinese food-based ethanol fuel industry ranks as the world's third after United States and Brazil. Several non-food-based ethanol plants are constructed or under constructed, one of which has been licensed. However, more efforts should be directed to commercializing non-food-based biofuel, including industrialized feedstock, strengthening key technology research, supporting private enterprise, and E10 upgrading to E20. The enormous increase in private ownership of car must compel China to commercialize biofuel. (author)

  4. Biofuels system economics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biofuels, or fuels produced from biomass resources, represent an environmentally responsible source of liquid fuels. The combustion of petroleum and coal releases large volumes of carbon dioxide which have been stored millions of years ago that contribute to the enhanced greenhouse effect. Biomass resources sequester carbon during their growing period, and when processed, this recently stored carbon is released as carbon dioxide. If biomass is replanted after harvesting, the carbon is again sequestered, resulting in a short cycle carbon loop. Another growing problem is waste disposal. Biomass wastes such as wood residues and municipal solid waste (MSW) often are landfilled and produce methane, another greenhouse gas. Diverting these wastes to a processing facility can eliminate methane production from landfilling. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is developing technology to convert biomass resources to fuels, chemicals, and solid residue that can be used for power generation. There is an estimated 1,118 to 2,945 million tons of biomass resources available annually that can be converted to renewable fuels using newly developed conversion processes. Economic evaluation of these processes have shown promise. This paper compares the economics of six biomass conversion systems. Prices and costs vary for site-specific areas, and the cost numbers used in the TVA comparison represent general systems. The rate of return on investments vary from 15.5% to 19.8% depending on the feedstock, process, and products. TVA is continuing research and development activities to improve economics of biomass systems and make them more attractive to commercial users. These technologies are environmentally friendly and can help to reduce the rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane accumulation

  5. Which future for aviation bio-fuels?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This collective report proposes a detailed overview of the evolution of aviation fuels and bio-fuels from technological, regulatory and economic points of view. It also proposes a road-map for possible future evolutions, and outlines the different assessments between American and European countries regarding the predictions for the beginning of industrial production and use of bio-jet-fuel. After having recalled international objectives, an overview of European and French commitments for technological and operational advances, and a discussion of the role of bio-fuels in the carbon cycle, the report presents various technical constraints met in aircraft industry and describes the role bio-fuels may have. The next part proposes an overview of bio-fuels which are industrially produced in the world in 2013. The authors then focus on aviation bio-fuels (main production processes, thermo-chemical processes), discuss the political context, and examine obstacles, partnerships and the role of public authorities

  6. Assessing the EC ILUC proposal. Dutch national ILUC Impact Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peters, D.; Toop, G.; Van den Bos, A.; Spoettle, M.

    2013-04-15

    Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) is the effect that when existing agricultural land producing food is used for biofuel feedstock production, food production is reduced and this reduction is partially compensated by the conversion of non-agricultural land into new cropland elsewhere. ILUC can have a negative impact on the GHG performance of biofuels and can lead to loss of biodiversity. ILUC, its quantification and possible policy measures have been debated in the EU since 2008. The final legislative text to be negotiated on the basis of the ILUC proposal is likely to have a profound impact on the current EU biofuels market but especially on its future development. This report assesses the legal soundness and factual basis of the proposal. It also assesses the policy risks, effectiveness of, and economic consequences resulting from the four most important proposed measures. Alternative scenarios are explored for each of the proposed measures. The report starts with a description of the Dutch biofuels market as the current situation and future perspective of this market is naturally of specific concern for Dutch negotiators in Brussels. This report takes the IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute) 2011 modelling study as a starting point when assessing the ILUC impacts of EU biofuels. The IFPRI study modelling results assign high ILUC emissions to conventional biodiesel and assigns much lower ILUC emissions to conventional ethanol. The study does not model ILUC effects of advanced biofuels. The Dutch biofuels market is dominated by biodiesel, of which a large share is double counting. Following the IFPRI 2011 ILUC modelling, this means that a high share of biofuels with a high ILUC risk are supplied to the market but also a high share of advanced, double counting biofuels with a low to medium ILUC risk. The Netherlands hosts a relatively large oilseed crushing and biofuel production industry, of which an important share consists of advanced biofuel

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:25289698

  9. Biofuels of the Future

    OpenAIRE

    Oxburgh, Ron

    2007-01-01

    There are good biofuels and bad biofuels. The good ones offer the prospect of transport fuels that have much lower environmental impact than fossil fuels and could before long be less expensive as well. Bad or irresponsibly produced biofuels may at best bring little environmental advantage; at worst they may also cause serious environmental damage, habitat destruction and food shortages. The biofuel industry of the future will make a significant contribution to the greening of the world’s veh...

  10. Panorama 2007: Biofuels Worldwide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The biofuels market is booming: after more than 20 years of industrial development, global bio-fuel production is growing fast. Willingness to reduce their oil dependence and necessity to promote low-carbon energies are the two main drivers for states to support biofuels development. (author)

  11. 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

  12. Biofuels. Environment, technology and food security

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  13. 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)

  14. 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. PMID:24985498

  15. 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.

  16. The potential of C4 grasses for cellulosic biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Weijde, Tim; Alvim Kamei, Claire L; Torres, Andres F; Vermerris, Wilfred; Dolstra, Oene; Visser, Richard G F; Trindade, Luisa M

    2013-01-01

    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 lignocellulosic 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 biofuel. PMID:23653628

  17. 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

  18. United States biomass energy: An assessment of costs and infrastructure for alternative uses of biomass energy crops as an energy feedstock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrow, William Russell, III

    Reduction of the negative environmental and human health externalities resulting from both the electricity and transportation sectors can be achieved through technologies such as clean coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, wind, and solar photovoltaic technologies for electricity; reformulated gasoline and other fossil fuels, hydrogen, and electrical options for transportation. Negative externalities can also be reduced through demand reductions and efficiency improvements in both sectors. However, most of these options come with cost increases for two primary reasons: (1) most environmental and human health consequences have historically been excluded from energy prices; (2) fossil energy markets have been optimizing costs for over 100 years and thus have achieved dramatic cost savings over time. Comparing the benefits and costs of alternatives requires understanding of the tradeoffs associated with competing technology and lifestyle choices. As bioenergy is proposed as a large-scale feedstock within the United States, a question of "best use" of bioenergy becomes important. Bioenergy advocates propose its use as an alternative energy resource for electricity generation and transportation fuel production, primarily focusing on ethanol. These advocates argue that bioenergy offers environmental and economic benefits over current fossil energy use in each of these two sectors as well as in the U.S. agriculture sector. Unfortunately, bioenergy research has offered very few comparisons of these two alternative uses. This thesis helps fill this gap. This thesis compares the economics of bioenergy utilization by a method for estimating total financial costs for each proposed bioenergy use. Locations for potential feedstocks and bio-processing facilities (co-firing switchgrass and coal in existing coal fired power plants and new ethanol refineries) are estimated and linear programs are developed to estimate large-scale transportation infrastructure costs for each sector

  19. Carbon footprint of traffic biofuels - BioCarF

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luoranen, M. [Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland). LUT Energy - Environmental technology], email: mika.luoranen@lut.fi

    2012-07-01

    There are goals to expand the use of biofuels produced from biomasses to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) from the traffic sector which have led to the growing utilization of biomasses. Expanding natural gas grids have created an opportunity to increase the use of biogas in gas operated cars by delivering biogas via natural gas grids. Despite the growing use of electric cars, there will be a demand for biofuels in heavy vehicles, ships, and airplanes which cannot be converted to use electricity because of the lack of sufficient battery technology. Biofuels can be produced from different kinds of feedstock. Biodiversity and social questions, such as the effects on food price, have put more pressure on decisions related to feedstock production and availability. The goal of this project is to find out the most potential raw materials and production technologies for such traffic biofuels that can replace traditional petroleum products or natural gas in the transportation use in the existing vehicles. Different options are compared from a life cycle point of view. GHG emissions and effects on carbon footprint in the traffic sector with different biofuel production chains will be investigated. In addition to GHG emissions, other factors such as social aspects, biodiversity, and water scarcity are taken into account in recognizing the best options.

  20. Metabolic engineering of yeast to produce fatty acid-derived biofuels: bottlenecks and solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Jiayuan; Feng, Xueyang

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26106371

  1. The changing dynamics between biofuels and commodity markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The recent development of the biofuel industries coincides with significant increases in prices of basic commodities such as food and feed. Against popular perception, it appears that there is not a straightforward causal relationship between the two; there are a number of factors that determine the level and strength of the impact of the biofuels sector on other commodities. For the case of markets of agricultural raw material these factors include the amount of feedstock claimed by the biofuels industry, its relative purchasing power, the responsiveness of the agricultural sector to price incentives and availability of substitutes. For consumer food markets we must additionally consider the relative share of agricultural input costs in the retail food price and the demand elasticity. Based on the analysis of these factors and estimates of other studies that attempted to quantify the price impacts of biofuels on crop prices, we conclude that the impact of biofuels is relatively small, especially when compared with other causes that triggered the recent price increases. We end the paper with a recommendation for future efforts in curbing food price inflations while keeping ambitious biofuel targets and suggest a shift in focus of the debate around the social costs of biofuels

  2. The changing dynamics between biofuels and commodity markets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bole, T.; Londo, H.M. [ECN Policy Studies, Petten (Netherlands)

    2008-06-15

    The recent development of the biofuel industries coincides with significant increases in prices of basic commodities such as food and feed. Against popular perception, it appears that there is not a straightforward causal relationship between the two; there are a number of factors that determine the level and strength of the impact of the biofuels sector on other commodities. For the case of markets of agricultural raw material these factors include the amount of feedstock claimed by the biofuels industry, its relative purchasing power, the responsiveness of the agricultural sector to price incentives and availability of substitutes. For consumer food markets we must additionally consider the relative share of agricultural input costs in the retail food price and the demand elasticity. Based on the analysis of these factors and estimates of other studies that attempted to quantify the price impacts of biofuels on crop prices, we conclude that the impact of biofuels is relatively small, especially when compared with other causes that triggered the recent price increases. We end the paper with a recommendation for future efforts in curbing food price inflations while keeping ambitious biofuel targets and suggest a shift in focus of the debate around the social costs of biofuels.

  3. Thermodynamic evaluation of biomass-to-biofuels production systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biomass is a renewable feedstock for producing modern energy carriers. However, the usage of biomass is accompanied by possible drawbacks, mainly due to limitation of land and water, and competition with food production. In this paper, the analysis concerns so-called second generation biofuels, like Fischer–Tropsch fuels or Substitute Natural Gas which are produced either from wood or from waste biomass. For these biofuels the most promising conversion case is the one which involves production of syngas from biomass gasification, followed by synthesis of biofuels. The thermodynamic efficiency of biofuels production is analyzed and compared using both the direct exergy analysis and the thermo-ecological cost. This analysis leads to the detection of exergy losses in various elements which forms the starting point to the improvement of conversion efficiency. The efficiency of biomass conversion to biofuels is also evaluated for the whole production chain, including biomass cultivation, transportation and conversion. The global effects of natural resources management are investigated using the thermo-ecological cost. The energy carriers' utilities such as electricity and heat are externally generated either from fossil fuels or from renewable biomass. In the former case the production of biofuels not always can be considered as a renewable energy source whereas in the latter case the production of biofuels leads always to the reduction of depletion of non-renewable resources

  4. Can the Nigerian biofuel policy and incentives (2007) transform Nigeria into a biofuel economy?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nigeria's economy is largely dependent on petroleum, yet the country is suffering from fuel supply shortages. In response to the transportation fuel supply difficulties in Nigeria, the country released the Nigerian Biofuel Policy and Incentives in 2007 to create favorable investment climate for the entrance of Nigeria into the biofuel sector. The paper assessed the progress made thus far by Nigeria, 4 years after the Nigerian biofuel was released in an attempt to answer the question whether the policy is adequate to transform Nigeria into a biofuel economy. The study found that little progress has been made, which includes commencement of the construction of 20 bioethanol factories, installation of biofuel handling facilities at two depots (Mosimi and Atlas Cove), and selection of retail outlets for biofuel/conventional fuel mix. The site construction of the announced biofuel projects is now slow and other progress is marginal. We therefore conclude that the Nigerian biofuel policy is unlikely to transform Nigeria into a biofuel economy unless the Government revert and refocus on biofuel and include additional financial incentives such as grants and subsidy to complement the tax waivers (income, import duty, VAT), loans, and insurance cover contained in the policy. - Highlights: ► Nigeria's economy is dependent on petroleum, yet the country is suffering from fuel shortages. ► The Nigerian Biofuel Policy and Incentives was released in 2007. ► Little progress has been made since the policy was released 4 years ago. ► Hence, the policy is unlikely to transform Nigeria into a biofuel economy

  5. 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.

  6. Consequences of EU Biofuel Policies on Agricultural Production and Land Use

    OpenAIRE

    Banse, M.A.H.; Meijl, van, H.; Woltjer, G.B.

    2008-01-01

    This article assesses the implications of European Union (EU) biofuel policies based on a general equilibrium framework with endogenous land supply. The results show that, without policy intervention to stimulate the use of biofuel crops, the targets set by the EU Biofuels Directive will not be met. European biofuel policies boosting demand for biofuel crops have a strong impact on agriculture globally and within Europe, leading to an increase in land use. On the other hand, the long–term dec...

  7. 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 the...

  8. Waste paper as a biomass feedstock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A study was undertaken to evaluate the availability and suitability of waste paper for conversion to biofuel in Canada and to examine the environmental impacts of waste paper processing. The total quantity of waste paper available in 1991 for each province and territory was determined and broken down into seven paper types. The total quantity across Canada was estimated at between 5.7 million and 7.6 million tonnes, of which old corrugated containers made up 23-26%. The variation in prices by waste paper type was also examined on a regional basis and a detailed analysis was made of the recent history of prices for several paper types. Waste paper prices have generally decreased, but since mid-1992, prices for certain types such as writing paper, computer output paper, and newsprint have increased steadily, partly due to increasing demand for recycled content in new paper. Utilization and disposal practices by region for waste paper generated in 1991, including recycling, conversion, and landfilling, were studied. National quantities of waste paper recycled, landfilled, and unavailable for recycling are estimated. The feasibility of using each type of waste paper as feedstock for each of three conversion processes (pyrolysis, incineration, fermentation) was examined. Scenarios were then developed for evaluating environmental impacts of each conversion technology. The environmental impacts of recycling, conversion, and landfilling practices are discussed qualitatively. 92 refs., 16 figs., 53 tabs

  9. On the future prospects and limits of biofuels in Brazil, the US and EU

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Market prospects of biofuels are investigated up to 2030 for Brazil, the US and EU. • 1st generation biofuels are cost-effective under current tax policies. • Their potentials are restricted especially due to limited crops areas. • R and D especially for second generation biofuels has to be intensified. - Abstract: In the early 2000s high expectations existed regarding the potential contribution of biofuels to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and substitution of fossil fuels in transport. In recent years sobering judgments prevailed. The major barriers for a further expansion of biofuels are their high costs (compared to fossil fuels), moderate ecological performances, limited feedstocks for biofuel production and their competition with food production. The objective of this paper is to investigate the market prospects of biofuels up to the year 2030. It focuses on the three currently most important regions for biofuels production and use: the US, EU and Brazil which in 2010 accounted together for almost three-quarters of global biofuel supply. Our method of approach is based on a dynamic economic framework considering the major cost components of biofuels and corresponding technological learning with respect to capital costs. Moreover, for the analysis of the competitiveness of biofuels with fossil fuels also taxes are considered. The most important result is that under existing tax policies biofuels are cost-effective today and also for the next decades in the regions investigated. However, their potentials are restricted especially due to limited crops areas, and their environmental performance is currently rather modest. The major final conclusions are: (i) To reveal the real future market value of biofuels, a CO2 based tax system should be implemented for all types of fuels providing a neutral environmental incentive for competition between all types of fossil and renewable fuels; (ii) Moreover, the research and development for

  10. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26938514

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  12. A Comparative Analysis of the Brazilian Bioethanol Sector and the Malaysian Palm Biofuel Sector

    OpenAIRE

    AhChoy Er

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to carry out a comparative analysis of the Brazilian bioethanol sector and the Malaysian palm biofuel sector.  The major findings for the Brazilian experience are economic nationalism, mandatory policy with initial focus on the domestic market, a nationwide biofuel infrastructure, incentivized mill construction and the adoption of flex-fuel vehicles are the cornerstone of its success.  Production factors like abundant sugar cane feedstock and evolving production techn...

  13. The regional economic impacts of biofuels: A review of multisectoral modelling techniques and evaluation of applications

    OpenAIRE

    Grant Allan

    2012-01-01

    The regional economic impact of biofuel production depends upon a number of interrelated factors: the specific biofuels feedstock and production technology employed; the sector’s embeddedness to the rest of the economy, through its demand for local resources; the extent to which new activity is created. These issues can be analysed using multisectoral economic models. Some studies have used (fixed price) Input-Output (IO) and Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) modelling frameworks, whilst a nas...

  14. Promoting Second Generation Biofuels: Does the First Generation Pave the Road?

    OpenAIRE

    Hakan Eggert; Mads Greaker

    2014-01-01

    The transport sector contributes almost a fifth of the current global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), and its share is likely to increase in the future. The US, Brazil, and a number of European and other countries worldwide have introduced various support schemes for biofuels. The advantage of biofuels is that they are easily integrated with the current fossil fuel–based transport sector. However, recent studies question whether the supply of feedstock is sufficient, and to what extent b...

  15. Novel storage technologies for raw and clarified syrup biomass feedstocks from sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attention is currently focused on developing sustainable supply chains of sugar feedstocks for new, flexible biorefineries. Fundamental processing needs identified by industry for the large-scale manufacture of biofuels and bioproducts from sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) include stabiliz...

  16. Proceedings of the IEA Bioenergy Task 39 conference : biofuels and bioenergy, a changing climate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of this conference was to showcase the advancements that have been made in bioenergy development. The presentations addressed several issues, including biorefinery integration; thermochemical technologies; biochemical technologies; feedstock harvest, pretreatment and logistics; biomass production and management; policy, strategies and trade; and greenhouse gas and life cycle assessment. Discussions focused on recent innovations in bioenergy and the feasibility of biofuels in the commercial marketplace with the aim to advance bioenergy development and reduce fossil fuel dependency. A two-day forest management and supply chain field trip was organized in conjunction with the conference. The conference featured 152 presentations, of which 30 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. refs., tabs., figs.

  17. An overview of biofuel policies across the world

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Biomass, biogas and biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This article reviews the different ways to produce biofuels. It appears that there are 3 generations of biofuels. The first generation was based on the use of the energetic reserves of the plants for instance sugar from beetroot or starch from cereals or oil from oleaginous plants. The second generation is based on a more complete use of the plant, the main constituents of the plant: cellulose and lignin are turned into energy. The third generation of biofuels relies on the use of energy plants and algae. The second generation of biofuels reduces drastically the competition between an alimentary use and a non-alimentary use of plants. In 2008 the production of biofuels reached 43 Mtep which represents only 2% of all the energy used in the transport sector. The international agency for energy expects that the production of biofuels would be multiplied by a factor 6 (even 10 if inciting measures are taken) by 2030. (A.C.)

  20. Biofuel goes underground

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tollinsky, Norm

    2011-09-15

    Kirkland Lake Gold, a gold producer, is switching to a blend of biofuel to power the mine's underground equipment. Kirkland Lake Gold is using a soy-based product which has several advantages: less expensive: for example, the soybean-based biofuel used by Kirkland Lake Gold is 10 cents a liter less expensive than diesel; cleaner: biofuel can reduce emissions by up to 80 per cent compared to conventional diesel; and safer: biofuel is safer than miner's diesel because it has a much higher flash point. Testing with soybean-based biofuel began in the early 90s but its price was too high at that time. The federal government's regulation of renewable fuel quotas has led to the better availability of biofuel now. The supply should be doubled to meet government quotas.

  1. 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.

  2. Short-rotation woody crops for bioenergy and biofuels applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinchee, Maud; Rottmann, William; Mullinax, Lauren; Zhang, Chunsheng; Chang, Shujun; Cunningham, Michael; Pearson, Leslie; Nehra, Narender

    2009-12-01

    Purpose-grown trees will be part of the bioenergy solution in the United States, especially in the Southeast where plantation forestry is prevalent and economically important. Trees provide a "living biomass inventory" with existing end-use markets and associated infrastructure, unlike other biomass species such as perennial grasses. The economic feasibility of utilizing tree biomass is improved by increasing productivity through alternative silvicultural systems, improved breeding and biotechnology. Traditional breeding and selection, as well as the introduction of genes for improved growth and stress tolerance, have enabled high growth rates and improved site adaptability in trees grown for industrial applications. An example is the biotechnology-aided improvement of a highly productive tropical Eucalyptus hybrid, Eucalyptus grandis x Eucalyptus urophylla. This tree has acquired freeze tolerance by the introduction of a plant transcription factor that up-regulates the cold-response pathways and makes possible commercial plantings in the Southeastern United States. Transgenic trees with reduced lignin, modified lignin, or increased cellulose and hemicellulose will improve the efficiency of feedstock conversion into biofuels. Reduced lignin trees have been shown to improve efficiency in the pre-treatment step utilized in fermentation systems for biofuels production from lignocellulosics. For systems in which thermochemical or gasification approaches are utilized, increased density will be an important trait, while increased lignin might be a desired trait for direct firing or co-firing of wood for energy. Trees developed through biotechnology, like all transgenic plants, need to go through the regulatory process, which involves biosafety and risk assessment analyses prior to commercialization. PMID:19936031

  3. Biofuels and Food Security

    OpenAIRE

    Fischer, G; Hizsnyik, E.; Prieler, S.; Shah, M; van Velthuizen, H.T.

    2009-01-01

    Biofuels development has received increased attention in recent times as a means to mitigate climate change, alleviate global energy concerns and foster rural development. Its perceived importance in these three areas has seen biofuels feature prominently on the international agenda. Nevertheless, the rapid growth of biofuels production has raised many concerns among experts worldwide, in particular with regard to sustainability issues and the threat posed to food security. The UN Secretary G...

  4. Feedstock characterization and recommended procedures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Using biomass for non-conventional applications such as feedstocks for fuels, chemicals, new materials, and electric power production requires knowledge of biomass characteristics important to these processes, and characterization techniques that are more appropriate than those employed today for conventional applications of food, feed, and fiber. This paper reviews feedstock characterization and standardization methodologies, and identifies research and development needs. It reviews the international cooperation involved in determining biomass characteristics and standards that has culminated in preparing four biomass samples currently available from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

  5. SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION OF MICROALGAE OIL FEEDSTOCK USING MUNICIPAL WASTEWATER AND CO2 FERTILIZATION

    OpenAIRE

    Gina Chaput; Kyle Charmanski; Ihab H. Farag

    2012-01-01

    The increasing scarcity of fossil fuels has forced industry to look for new cost effective, clean,and sustainable sources of energy. With recent advances in technology, biofuels have become a more viableoption. Microalgae are cost effective and efficient feedstock for the production of biodiesel. One of the algae advantages is the ability to grow it in a wastewater media. This provides essential nutrients without the addition of chemicals. When grown in a photobioreactor, the algae can be cul...

  6. Structural and Chemical Characterization of Hardwood from Tree Species with Applications as Bioenergy Feedstocks

    OpenAIRE

    Çetinkol, Özgül Persil; Smith-Moritz, Andreia M.; Cheng, Gang; Lao, Jeemeng; George, Anthe; Hong, Kunlun; Henry, Robert; Simmons, Blake A.; Heazlewood, Joshua L.; Holmes, Bradley M

    2012-01-01

    Eucalypt species are a group of flowering trees widely used in pulp production for paper manufacture. For several decades, the wood pulp industry has focused research and development efforts on improving yields, growth rates and pulp quality through breeding and the genetic improvement of key tree species. Recently, this focus has shifted from the production of high quality pulps to the investigation of the use of eucalypts as feedstocks for biofuel production. Here the structure and chemical...

  7. Sugarcane straw as a feedstock for xylitol production by Candida guilliermondii FTI 20037

    OpenAIRE

    Andrés Felipe Hernández-Pérez; Priscila Vaz de Arruda; Maria das Graças de Almeida Felipe

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Sugarcane straw has become an available lignocellulosic biomass since the progressive introduction of the non-burning harvest in Brazil. Besides keeping this biomass in the field, it can be used as a feedstock in thermochemical or biochemical conversion processes. This makes feasible its incorporation in a biorefinery, whose economic profitability could be supported by integrated production of low-value biofuels and high-value chemicals, e.g., xylitol, which has important industrial ...

  8. Anaerobic Decomposition of Switchgrass by Tropical Soil-Derived Feedstock-Adapted Consortia

    OpenAIRE

    DeAngelis, Kristen M.; Fortney, Julian L.; Borglin, Sharon; Silver, Whendee L.; Simmons, Blake A.; Hazen, Terry C.

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT Tropical forest soils decompose litter rapidly with frequent episodes of anoxic conditions, making it likely that bacteria using alternate terminal electron acceptors (TEAs) play a large role in decomposition. This makes these soils useful templates for improving biofuel production. To investigate how TEAs affect decomposition, we cultivated feedstock-adapted consortia (FACs) derived from two tropical forest soils collected from the ends of a rainfall gradient: organic matter-rich tr...

  9. Lignocellulosic agriculture wastes as biomass feedstocks for second-generation bioethanol production: concepts and recent developments

    OpenAIRE

    Saini, Jitendra Kumar; Saini, Reetu; Tewari, Lakshmi

    2014-01-01

    Production of liquid biofuels, such as bioethanol, has been advocated as a sustainable option to tackle the problems associated with rising crude oil prices, global warming and diminishing petroleum reserves. Second-generation bioethanol is produced from lignocellulosic feedstock by its saccharification, followed by microbial fermentation and product recovery. Agricultural residues generated as wastes during or after processing of agricultural crops are one of such renewable and lignocellulos...

  10. Markets for Canadian bitumen-based feedstock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study was undertaken in an effort to determine the market potential for crude bitumen and derivative products from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin in 2007. As part of the study, CERI assessed the economic viability of a wide range of bitumen-based feedstock based on their refining values, investigated the sensitivity of refinery demand to the prices of these feedstocks, and examined the competitiveness of bitumen-based feedstocks and conventional crudes. A US$18.00 per barrel price for West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Oklahoma, was assumed in all calculations, including other crude prices, as well as for Western Canadian and US crude oil production forecasts. Four different scenarios have been considered, but only the 'most plausible' scenario is discussed in the report. Consequently, Hydrocracked/Aromatics Saturated Synthetic Crude Oil, which is currently only a hypothetical product, is excluded from consideration. The availability of historical price differentials for the various competing crudes was another assumption used in developing the scenario. Proxy prices for the bitumen-based feedstock were based on their respective supply costs. The study concludes that the principal dilemma facing bitumen producers in Western Canada is to determine the amount of upgrading necessary to ensure an economic market for their product in the future. In general, the greater the degree of upgrading, the higher is the demand for bitumen-based feedstock. However, it must be kept in mind that the upgrading decisions of other bitumen producers, along with many other factors, will have a decisive impact on the economics of any individual project. The combination of coking capacity and asphalt demand limits the market for heavy and extra-heavy crudes. As a result, the researchers concluded that major expansion of heavy crude conversion capacity may have to wait until the end of the current decade. The economic market for bitumen-based blends in 2007 is estimated at

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Biofuel initiatives in Japan: Strategies, policies, and future potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Japan has developed a variety of national strategies and plans related to biofuels which address four main policy objectives, including reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy security, rural development, and realisation of a recycle-based society. This paper reviews these national strategies and plans as well as associated implementing policies, and discusses the extent to which these objectives may be achieved. This paper found that the long-term potential of biofuels to contribute to GHG reduction goals will depend not only on the rates of technological development of the second generation biofuels but also on the development of other advanced vehicles. In the medium term, the potential contribution of biofuels to rural development and realising a recycle-based society could become significant depending on the progress of technology for both second generation biofuel production and the collection and transportation of their feedstocks. The potential contribution of biofuels to Japan's energy security is constrained by the availability of imports and the potential of domestic production.

  14. A stochastic programming approach towards optimization of biofuel supply chain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bioenergy has been recognized as an important source of energy that will reduce dependency on petroleum. It would have a positive impact on the economy, environment, and society. Production of bioenergy is expected to increase. As a result, we foresee an increase in the number of biorefineries in the near future. This paper analyzes challenges with supplying biomass to a biorefinery and shipping biofuel to demand centers. A stochastic linear programming model is proposed within a multi-period planning framework to maximize the expected profit. The model deals with a time-staged, multi-commodity, production/distribution system, facility locations and capacities, technologies, and material flows. We illustrate the model outputs and discuss the results through numerical examples considering disruptions in biofuel supply chain. Finally, sensitivity analyses are performed to gain managerial insights on how profit changes due to existing uncertainties. - Highlights: • A robust model of biofuel SC is proposed and a sensitivity analysis implemented. • Demand of products is a function of price and GBM (Geometric Brownian Motion) is used for prices of biofuels. • Uncertainties in SC network are captured through defining probabilistic scenarios. • Both traditional feedstock and lignocellulosic biomass are considered for biofuel production. • Developed model is applicable to any related biofuel supply chain regardless of region

  15. The GHG balance of biofuels taking into account land use change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The contribution of biofuels to the saving of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has recently been questioned because of emissions resulting from land use change (LUC) for bioenergy feedstock production. We investigate how the inclusion of the carbon effect of LUC into the carbon accounting framework, as scheduled by the European Commission, impacts on land use choices for an expanding biofuel feedstock production. We first illustrate the change in the carbon balances of various biofuels, using methodology and data from the IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. It becomes apparent that the conversion of natural land, apart from grassy savannahs, impedes meeting the EU's 35% minimum emissions reduction target for biofuels. We show that the current accounting method mainly promotes biofuel feedstock production on former cropland, thus increasing the competition between food and fuel production on the currently available cropland area. We further discuss whether it is profitable to use degraded land for commercial bioenergy production as requested by the European Commission to avoid undesirable LUC and conclude that the current regulation provides little incentive to use such land. The exclusive consideration of LUC for bioenergy production minimizes direct LUC at the expense of increasing indirect LUC. - Research highlights: → We analyzed the EC's current sustainability regulations for biofuels with respect to land use change (LUC). → The current regulatory system taking LUCs into account minimizes direct LUC at the cost of increasing indirect LUC. → We propose subjecting all agricultural activities to a carbon accounting system. → In the short run, the indirect LUC risk can be reduced by promoting high energy productive crops and biofuel feedstock production on degraded land.

  16. 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.

  17. The economic effects of the EU biofuel target

    OpenAIRE

    Kretschmer, Bettina; Narita, Daiju; Peterson, Sonja

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we use the CGE model DART to assess the economic impacts and optimality of different aspects of the EU climate package. A special focus is placed on the 10% biofuel target in the EU. In particular we analyze the development in the biofuel sectors, the effects on agricultural production and prices, and finally overall welfare implications. One of the main findings is that the EU emission targets alone lead to onlyminor increases in biofuel production. Additional subsidies are nec...

  18. Dynamic impacts of high oil prices on the bioethanol and feedstock markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study investigates the impacts of high international oil prices on the bioethanol and corn markets in the US. Between 2007 and 2008, the prices of major grain crops had increased sharply, reflecting the rise in international oil prices. These dual price shocks had caused substantial harm to the global economy. Employing a structural vector auto-regression model (SVAR), we analyze how increases in international oil prices could impact the prices of and demand for corn, which is used as a major bioethanol feedstock in the US. The results indicate that an increase in the oil price would increase bioethanol demand for corn and corn prices in the short run and that corn prices would stabilize in the long run as corn exports and feedstock demand for corn decline. Consequently, policies supporting biofuels should encourage the use of bioethanol co-products for feed and the development of marginal land to mitigate increases in the feedstock price. (author)

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Biofuels and water use: Comparison of maize and switchgrass and general perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two of the main plants currently being considered as potential biofuel feedstocks in the U.S. are switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and maize (Zea mays L.). Recent expanded production of both has raised serious questions about natural resource utilization, notably, soil carbon, soil nutrients, and ...

  3. 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

    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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. The effect of cellulosic biofuel production on water resources at a regional scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher, S. F.; Scheonholtz, S. H.; Nettles, J. E.

    2012-12-01

    The U.S. government has mandated production of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022, of which 16 billion gallons are required to be cellulosic biofuels. Production of cellulosic biomass offers a promising alternative to corn-based systems because large-scale production of corn-based ethanol often requires irrigation and is associated with increased erosion, excess sediment export, and enhanced leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus. Although cultivation of switchgrass using standard agricultural practices is one option being considered for production of cellulosic biomass, intercropping cellulosic biofuel crops within managed forests could provide feedstock without primary land use change or the water resources impacts associated with annual crops. There are data sets and models that have been used to evaluate effects of agriculturally-based biofuel options on water quantity and quality, but the evaluation - from instrumentation through data analysis - is designed for these more disturbed systems and is not appropriate for the more subtle changes anticipated from a pine/switchgrass systems. Currently, there is no known hydrologic model that can explicitly assess the effect of intercropping on water resources. However, these models can evaluate the effects of growing switchgrass on water resources and would be useful in identifying the "worst case scenario". We used the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), a physically-based hydrologic model, to examine effects of large scale conversion of pine plantations to switchgrass biofuel production on water resources in the ~ 5 mil ha Tombigbee Watershed in the southeastern U.S. Publically available datasets were used as input to the model and for calibration. To improve calibration statistics, five tree age classes were added to the model to more appropriately represent existing forested systems in the region, which are not included within the standard model set-up. Results suggest land use conversions result in 4 and

  7. Biofuel, land and water: maize, switchgrass or Miscanthus?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The productive cellulosic crops switchgrass and Miscanthus are considered as viable biofuel sources. To meet the 2022 national biofuel target mandate, actions must be taken, e.g., maize cultivation must be intensified and expanded, and other biofuel crops (switchgrass and Miscanthus) must be cultivated. This raises questions on the use efficiencies of land and water; to date, the demand on these resources to meet the national biofuel target has rarely been analyzed. Here, we present a data-model assimilation analysis, assuming that maize, switchgrass and Miscanthus will be grown on currently available croplands in the US. Model simulations suggest that maize can produce 3.0–5.4 kiloliters (kl) of ethanol for every hectare of land, depending on the feedstock to ethanol conversion efficiency; Miscanthus has more than twice the biofuel production capacity relative to maize, and switchgrass is the least productive of the three potential sources of ethanol. To meet the biofuel target, about 26.5 million hectares of land and over 90 km3 of water (of evapotranspiration) are needed if maize grain alone is used. If Miscanthus was substituted for maize, the process would save half of the land and one third of the water. With more advanced biofuel conversion technology for Miscanthus, only nine million hectares of land and 45 km3 of water would probably meet the national target. Miscanthus could be a good alternative biofuel crop to maize due to its significantly lower demand for land and water on a per unit of ethanol basis. (letter)

  8. Beyond commonplace biofuels: Social aspects of ethanol

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biofuels policies and projects may lead to environmental, economic and social impacts. A number of studies point out the need to deliver comprehensive sustainability assessments regarding biofuels, with some presenting analytical frameworks that claim to be exhaustive. However, what is often found in the literature is an overexploitation of environmental and economic concerns, by contrast to a limited appraisal of the social aspects of biofuels. Building on a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature, this paper discusses the social constraints and strengths of ethanol, with regard to the product's lifecycle stages and the actors involved. Its objective is to contribute to the development of social frameworks to be used in assessing the impact of ethanol. Main findings indicate that ethanol developments can increase the levels of social vulnerability, although there is little evidence in the literature regarding the positive and negative social impacts of 1st-generation ethanol and potential impacts of cellulosic ethanol. Further work is needed on the formulation of social criteria and indicators for a comprehensive sustainability assessment of this biofuel. Policy makers need to internalise the social dimension of ethanol in decision-making to prevent public opposition and irreversible social costs in the future. - Highlights: ► The literature lacks evidence on the social impacts of ethanol. ► Further work is needed on social criteria and indicators for assessment. ► Ethanol developments can increase the levels of social vulnerability. ► Decision-making should internalise the social dimension of biofuels sustainability

  9. Biofuels and the biorefinery concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liquid fuels can be made by refining a range of biomass materials, including oil-rich and sugar-rich crops such as oil-seed rape and sugar beet, biomass that consists mainly of plant cell walls (second generation lignocellulosics), macro- and micro-alga, or material that would now be discarded as waste. This can include animal bi-products as well as waste wood and other resources. In the medium-term, plant cell (lignocellulosic) material is likely to be favoured as the feedstock for biorefineries because of its availability. The UK may make use of a number of these options because of its complex agricultural landscape. There are now a range of targets for biofuel use in the UK, although their environmental effects are disputed. The technology of refining these materials is well known. Possible outputs include biodiesel and bioethanol, both of which can be used as transport fuel. Other potential products include hydrogen, polymers and a wide range of value-added chemicals, making this technology important in a post-petrochemical world. Biorefineries could use cogeneration to produce electricity. The paper identifies a range of research and development priorities which must be met if this opportunity is to be exploited fully. (author)

  10. Making the market: How U.S. Policy influences near term agriculture and biofuel industry production and profitability under technology adoption

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Seth D.; Binfield, Julian C.R.; Westhoff, Patrick C.

    2010-01-01

    The beneficiaries of technology adoption in agriculture and biofuels markets in the United States are heavily influenced by domestic biofuel policies and market context. Biofuel mandates, one of the key pillars of domestic biofuel policies, may significantly alter the elasticity of demand for biofuels as well as the derived demand for maize used to produce a significant share of ethanol in the United States. Using a stochastic agriculture and biofuels model, we assess how the introduction of ...

  11. Fuel taxes and biofuel promotion: a complementary approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Public support for renewable energy technologies is usually justified in terms of its contribution to reducing energy dependency; an improvement in environmental quality and a stimulation of economic activity and employment. In the case of biofuels, greenhouse gas emissions reduction has received significant attention. Nevertheless, nowadays there is a lively debate surrounding the convenience of biofuels. This is a consequence of the potentially negative impacts revealed from their production on a large scale. The aim of the present work is to analyses the potential contribution of biofuels to the main impact categories identified above. This paper tries to analyze the role of biofuel promotion in the context of fuel taxes. Based on the assessment of biofuels in Spain related to environmental damage and economic impacts, it shows that fuel taxes and biofuel promotion should be considered as complementary tools and treated accordingly. (full text)

  12. 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

  13. The effect of aqueous ammonia soaking pretreatment on methane generation uing different lignocellulosic feedstocks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Antonopoulou, Georgia; Jonuzaj, Suela; Gavala, Hariklia N.;

    2014-01-01

    pretreatment on methane yield and on the structural characteristics of the feedstocks was assessed. A detailed characterization of the pretreated feedstocks through techniques such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-Ray diffraction (XRD) and IR spectroscopy will also be presented. References [1] Kim, M...

  14. 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. PMID:26098452

  15. Process for desulfurizing petroleum feedstocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, John Howard; Alvare, Javier

    2014-06-10

    A process for upgrading an oil feedstock includes reacting the oil feedstock with a quantity of an alkali metal, wherein the reaction produces solid materials and liquid materials. The solid materials are separated from the liquid materials. The solid materials may be washed and heat treated by heating the materials to a temperature above 400.degree. C. The heat treating occurs in an atmosphere that has low oxygen and water content. Once heat treated, the solid materials are added to a solution comprising a polar solvent, where sulfide, hydrogen sulfide or polysulfide anions dissolve. The solution comprising polar solvent is then added to an electrolytic cell, which during operation, produces alkali metal and sulfur.

  16. Proceedings. Feedstock preparation and quality 1997 workshop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mattsson, Jan Erik [ed.

    1998-06-01

    The IEA Bioenergy Feedstock Preparation and Quality 1997 Workshop dealt with fuel feedstock quality improvement and methods to determine feedstock properties. It was arranged by the Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences on behalf of the IEA Bioenergy Task XII Activity 4.1 Feedstock Preparation and Quality. This Activity is a 3-year cooperation 1995-1997 between Denmark, Sweden and the USA, mainly based on information exchange. The workshop had two sections: presentations by invited experts, and country reports on recent development in feedstock preparation and quality in the three participating countries. Separate abstracts have been prepared for four of the six papers presented

  17. Extremophiles in biofuel synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnard, Desire; Casanueva, Ana; Tuffin, Marla; Cowan, Donald

    2010-01-01

    The current global energy situation has demonstrated an urgent need for the development of alternative fuel sources to the continually diminishing fossil fuel reserves. Much research to address this issue focuses on the development of financially viable technologies for the production of biofuels. The current market for biofuels, defined as fuel products obtained from organic substrates, is dominated by bioethanol, biodiesel, biobutanol and biogas, relying on the use of substrates such as sugars, starch and oil crops, agricultural and animal wastes, and lignocellulosic biomass. This conversion from biomass to biofuel through microbial catalysis has gained much momentum as biotechnology has evolved to its current status. Extremophiles are a robust group of organisms producing stable enzymes, which are often capable of tolerating changes in environmental conditions such as pH and temperature. The potential application of such organisms and their enzymes in biotechnology is enormous, and a particular application is in biofuel production. In this review an overview of the different biofuels is given, covering those already produced commercially as well as those under development. The past and present trends in biofuel production are discussed, and future prospects for the industry are highlighted. The focus is on the current and future application of extremophilic organisms and enzymes in technologies to develop and improve the biotechnological production of biofuels. PMID:20662378

  18. Engineered plant biomass feedstock particles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dooley, James H.; Lanning, David N.; Broderick, Thomas F.

    2011-10-18

    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. At least 80% of the particles pass through a 1/4 inch screen having a 6.3 mm nominal sieve opening but are retained by a No. 10 screen having a 2 mm nominal sieve opening. The feedstock particles are manufactured from a variety of plant biomass materials including wood, crop residues, plantation grasses, hemp, bagasse, and bamboo.

  19. 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.

  20. The biofuels in France

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The biofuels are liquid renewable energies sources resulting from vegetal matters. Today are two channels of biofuels: the ethanol channel for gasoline and the vegetal oils channel for the diesel. In the first part, the document presents the different channels and the energy efficiency of the products. It shows in the second part the advantages for the environment (CO2 accounting) and for the energy independence. It discusses then the future developments and the projects. The fourth part is devoted to the legislation, regulations, taxes and financial incentives. The last part presents the french petroleum industry actions and attitudes in the framework of the biofuels development. (A.L.B.)

  1. Potential for Biofuels for Transport in Developing Countries

    OpenAIRE

    Kojima, Masami; Johnson, Todd

    2006-01-01

    This note is based on a longer report published by ESMAP in 2005. The report responds to the increasing number of requests from developing countries to help assess the commercial viability of biofuels for transport in the next 5 to 10 years. This brief draws from the successful Brazil experience and illustrates socioeconomic considerations for establishing biofuel programs in developing co...

  2. Lessons from first generation biofuels and implications for the sustainability appraisal of second generation biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aims: The emergence of second generation (2G) biofuels is widely seen as a sustainable response to the increasing controversy surrounding the first generation (1G). Yet, sustainability credentials of 2G biofuels are also being questioned. Drawing on work in Science and Technology Studies, we argue that controversies help focus attention on key, often value-related questions that need to be posed to address broader societal concerns. This paper examines lessons drawn from the 1G controversy to assess implications for the sustainability appraisal of 2G biofuels. Scope: We present an overview of key 1G sustainability challenges, assess their relevance for 2G, and highlight the challenges for policy in managing the transition. We address limitations of existing sustainability assessments by exploring where challenges might emerge across the whole system of bioenergy and the wider context of the social system in which bioenergy research and policy are done. Conclusions: Key lessons arising from 1G are potentially relevant to the sustainability appraisal of 2G biofuels depending on the particular circumstances or conditions under which 2G is introduced. We conclude that sustainability challenges commonly categorised as either economic, environmental or social are, in reality, more complexly interconnected (so that an artificial separation of these categories is problematic). - Highlights: • Controversy surrounding 1G biofuels is relevant to sustainability appraisal of 2G. • Challenges for policy in managing the transition to 2G biofuels are highlighted. • A key lesson is that sustainability challenges are complexly interconnected

  3. DMF - A New Biofuel Candidate

    OpenAIRE

    Tian, Guohong; Daniel, Ritchie; Xu, Hongming

    2011-01-01

    This book aspires to be a comprehensive summary of current biofuels issues and thereby contribute to the understanding of this important topic. Readers will find themes including biofuels development efforts, their implications for the food industry, current and future biofuels crops, the successful Brazilian ethanol program, insights of the first, second, third and fourth biofuel generations, advanced biofuel production techniques, related waste treatment, emissions and environmental impacts...

  4. Techno-economic analysis of the tubular Photo-Bio-Reactor for microalgae cultivation with a focus on biofuel production

    OpenAIRE

    Barrabia Gil, Laura

    2013-01-01

    Biofuels are considered a key element in meeting the growing energy demand in the transportation sector while contributing to climate change mitigation. However, the challenge resides in obtaining an economically viable substitute for fossil fuels that does not compete with food production. Third-generation biofuels, which use microalgae as the main feedstock and are characterized by their high oil yield, appear to be a promising alternative to overcome the drawbacks of first and second-gener...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Debjani Deb; Pushpa Tuppad; Prasad Daggupati; Raghavan Srinivasan; Deepa Varma

    2015-01-01

    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...

  6. A spatial modeling framework to evaluate domestic biofuel-induced potential land use changes and emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Joshua; Sharma, Bhavna; Best, Neil; Glotter, Michael; Dunn, Jennifer B; Foster, Ian; Miguez, Fernando; Mueller, Steffen; Wang, Michael

    2014-02-18

    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 high-resolution 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 decision-making, 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. PMID:24456539

  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. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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

  11. The U.S. biodiesel use mandate and biodiesel feedstock markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Studies of individual biodiesel feedstocks or broad approaches that lump animal fats and vegetable oils into a single aggregate straddle the true case of imperfect but by no means inconsequential substitution among fats and oils by different users. United States biofuel policy includes a biodiesel use mandate that rises to almost 4 hm3 by 2012, calling for biomass feedstock analysis that recognizes the complex interdependence among potential feedstocks and competition for food and industrial uses. We model biodiesel input markets to investigate the implications of the mandate for quantities and prices with and without a provision disallowing biodiesel made from soybean oil. Findings suggest a hierarchy of price effects that tends to be largest for cheaper fats and oils typically used for industrial and feed purposes and smallest for fats and oils traditionally used exclusively for direct consumption, with the cross-commodity effects and other key economic parameters playing a critical part in determining the scale in each case. Although sensitive to the exact parameters used, our results argue against overly simplifying feedstock markets by holding prices constant when considering the economics of a particular feedstock or if estimating the broader impacts of rising biodiesel production on competing uses. (author)

  12. 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…

  13. Biofuels - 5 disturbing questions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Initially considered as the supreme weapon against greenhouse gas emissions, biofuels are today hold responsible to all harms of the Earth: leap of agriculture products price, deforestation, food crisis. Considered some time ago as the perfect clean substitute to petroleum, biofuels are now suspected to have harmful effects on the environment. Should it be just an enormous technical, environmental and human swindle? Should we abandon immediately biofuels to protect the earth and fight the threatening again starvation? Should we wait for the second generation of efficient biofuels, made from non food-derived products and cultivation wastes? This book analyses this delicate debate through 5 main questions: do they starve the world? Are they a clean energy source? Do they contribute to deforestation? Are they economically practicable? Is the second generation ready? (J.S.)

  14. Market possibilities for biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The market for biofuels in Sweden after introduction of a proposed CO2-tax on fossil fuels is forecast. The competition between biofuels, fossil fuels and electricity is described for important market segments such as: Paper industry, Sawmills, Other energy-intensive industry, Power and heat producers, small Heat producers, and for Space heating of one-family houses. A market increase of the use of biofuels is probable for the segment small (district) heating centrals, 10 TWh in the next ten year period and even more during a longer period. Other market segments will not be much affected. An increased use of biofuels in paper and pulp industry will not influence the fuel market, since the increase will happen in the industry's normal lumber purchase. (2 figs., 18 tabs.)

  15. 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. PMID:22166620

  16. The water-land-food nexus of first-generation biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    Maria Cristina Rulli; Davide Bellomi; Andrea Cazzoli; Giulia De Carolis; Paolo D’Odorico

    2016-01-01

    Recent energy security strategies, investment opportunities and energy policies have led to an escalation in biofuel consumption at the expenses of food crops and pastureland. To evaluate the important impacts of biofuels on food security, the food-energy nexus needs to be investigated in the context of its linkages with the overall human appropriation of land and water resources. Here we provide a global assessment of biofuel crop production, reconstruct global patterns of biofuel crop/oil t...

  17. The biofuels, situation, perspectives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The climatic change with the fight against the greenhouse effect gases, sees the development of ''clean'' energy sources. Meanwhile the biofuels remain penalized by their high production cost, the interest is increasing. Facing their development ecologists highlight the environmental and social negative impacts of the development of the biofuels. The author aims to take stock on the techniques and the utilizations. (A.L.B.)

  18. Turbomachinery in Biofuel Production

    OpenAIRE

    Görling, Martin

    2011-01-01

    The aim for this study has been to evaluate the integration potential of turbo-machinery into the production processes of biofuels. The focus has been on bio-fuel produced via biomass gasification; mainly methanol and synthetic natural gas. The research has been divided into two parts; gas and steam turbine applications. Steam power generation has a given role within the fuel production process due to the large amounts of excess chemical reaction heat. However, large amounts of the steam prod...

  19. Outlook for advanced biofuels

    OpenAIRE

    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 transportation sector and can address many of the problems associated with mineral oil. Many biofuels are conceivable. Biodiesel (from oil crops) and ethanol from sugar beets or grains are already used in pr...

  20. Public acceptance of biofuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The public acceptance of biofuels in Greece is examined in this work. The analysis of 571 face to face interviews shows that 90.7% of the respondents believe that climatic changes are related to fossil fuel consumption, while only 23.8% know the difference between biodiesel and bioethanol. 76.1% believe that energy saving should precede the use of an alternative source of energy. Only 27.3% believe that priority must be given to biofuels over other renewable energy sources. Only 49.9% think that the use of biofuels can be an effective solution against climatic changes and 53.9% believe that the use of biofuels can be an effective solution for the energy problem. Finally, 80.9% of the car owners are willing to use biofuels, 44.8% are willing to pay the supplementary amount of 0.06 Euro /L of the fuel market price, while the average amount reported as willing to pay was 0.079 Euro /L on top of the fuel market price. Furthermore, eight models correlating the eight main responses with several socioeconomic variables are developed and analyzed. Those findings heave important policy implications related to the use and promotion of biofuels.

  1. Public acceptance of biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Savvanidou, Electra; Zervas, Efthimios; Tsagarakis, Konstantinos P. [Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Vas. Sofias 12, 67100 Xanthi (Greece)

    2010-07-15

    The public acceptance of biofuels in Greece is examined in this work. The analysis of 571 face to face interviews shows that 90.7% of the respondents believe that climatic changes are related to fossil fuel consumption, while only 23.8% know the difference between biodiesel and bioethanol. 76.1% believe that energy saving should precede the use of an alternative source of energy. Only 27.3% believe that priority must be given to biofuels over other renewable energy sources. Only 49.9% think that the use of biofuels can be an effective solution against climatic changes and 53.9% believe that the use of biofuels can be an effective solution for the energy problem. Finally, 80.9% of the car owners are willing to use biofuels, 44.8% are willing to pay the supplementary amount of 0.06 EUR/L of the fuel market price, while the average amount reported as willing to pay was 0.079 EUR/L on top of the fuel market price. Furthermore, eight models correlating the eight main responses with several socioeconomic variables are developed and analyzed. Those findings heave important policy implications related to the use and promotion of biofuels. (author)

  2. 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

  3. Risk assessment of PM2.5 to child residents in Brazilian Amazon region with biofuel production

    OpenAIRE

    de Oliveira Beatriz Fátima; Ignotti Eliane; Artaxo Paulo; do Nascimento Saldiva Paulo; Junger Washington; Hacon Sandra

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background Exposure to fine fractions of particulate matter (PM2.5) is associated with increased hospital admissions and mortality for respiratory and cardiovascular disease in children and the elderly. This study aims to estimate the toxicological risk of PM2.5 from biomass burning in children and adolescents between the age of 6 and 14 in Tangará da Serra, a municipality of Subequatorial Brazilian Amazon. Methods Risk assessment methodology was applied to estimate the risk quotient...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Economic challenges for the future relevance of biofuels in transport in EU countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The discussion on the promotion of biofuels is ambiguous: on the one hand benefits like reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and increase of energy supply security are expected, on the other hand low effectiveness with respect to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and high costs are being criticized. The core objective of this paper is to investigate the market prospects of biofuels for transport in the EU in a dynamic framework till 2030. The major results of this analysis are: (i) Under current policy conditions - mainly exemption of excise taxes - the economic prospects of 1st generation biofuels in Europe are rather promising; the major problems of 1st generation biofuels are lack of available land for feedstocks and the modest ecological performance; (ii) Large expectations are currently put into advanced 2nd generation biofuels production from lignocellulosic materials. With respect to the future costs development of 2nd generation biofuels, currently it can only be stated that in a favourable case by 2030 they will be close to the costs of 1st generation biofuels. However, because of the increasing prices for fossil gasoline and diesel in all international scenarios - given remaining tax exemptions - biofuels will become competitive already in the next few years.

  7. Liquid biofuel production from volatile fatty acids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steinbusch, K.J.J.

    2010-03-19

    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 biomass feedstock to have little of no competition with food production, and to save greenhouse gasses emissions. Waste is a complex substrate with a diverse composition and high water content. It can be homogenized without losing its initial energy value by anaerobic conversion to volatile fatty acids (VFA). Using VFA gives the opportunity to process cheap and abundantly present biomass residues to a fuel and chemical instead of sugar containing crops or vegetable oil. This thesis describes the feasibility to convert VFA to compounds with a higher energy content using mixed culture fermentations by eliminating of oxygen and/or increasing the carbon and hydrogen content. At high hydrogen pressure, protons and electrons release via the reduction of organic products such as VFA becomes thermodynamically more attractive. Three VFA reduction reactions were studied: hydrogenation to an alcohol with (1) hydrogen and (2) an electrode as electron donor, and (3) by chain elongation with hydrogen and ethanol. Based on concentration, production rate and efficiency, elongation of acetate with hydrogen and/or ethanol was the best technique to convert VFA into a fuel. In a CSTR (Continuous-flow stirred-tank reactor), 10.5 g L{sup -1} caproic acid and 0.48 g L{sup -1} caprylic acid were produced with ethanol and/or hydrogen at a specific MCFA (medium-chain fatty acids) production activity of 2.9 g caproate and 0.09 g caprylate per gram VSS d{sup -1} (volatile suspended solids). The products were selectively removed by calcium precipitation and solvent extraction with ethyl hexanoate and petroleum ether. Microbial characterization revealed that the microbial populations were stable and

  8. More valuable as petrochemical feedstock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The problems facing the North American petrochemical industry were discussed with particular reference to the fact that high North American prices present a challenge to competitiveness in a globally traded market. A background of Dow Canada was provided, including details of its upgrading of natural gas liquids that would otherwise be combusted for electrical power generation. The value of the petrochemical industry was outlined, with details of employment, manufacturing output and exports. Alberta's relationship to the natural gas industry was reviewed. The role of petrochemicals as a nexus for bridging the resource sector with manufacturing, retail and transportation was discussed. The historic correlation between world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and ethylene demand was presented. It was noted that the petrochemical industry currently competes with power generators for smaller volumes of natural gas liquids. As a highly energy intensive industry, inequities in gas pipeline haul charges and even small increases in gas prices has compromised the success of the petrochemical industry. It was noted that while crude oil is a globally traded commodity, natural gas liquids are generally traded at a more localized level, and factors that helped build the petrochemical industry and are now inhibiting growth. Ethane is the primary feedstock in the petrochemical industry. High natural gas prices affected the industry on two levels: volatility in a weakening industry and higher prices on primary feedstocks. It was estimated that changes in current trends were likely to take place in 5 to 10 years, following Northern gas developments. It was estimated that more than 50 per cent of new capacity investment in ethylene plants would take place in the Middle East in the next 5 years. No new plants are planned in Canada. It was concluded that low-cost feedstock advantages, as well as alternative feedstocks and the sustainment of a healthy industry are necessary for the

  9. Assessing the uncertainties of climate policies and mitigation measures. Viewpoints on biofuel production, grid electricity consumption and differentiation of emission reduction commitments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soimakallio, S.

    2012-08-15

    Ambitious climate change mitigation requires the implementation of effective and equitable climate policy and GHG emission reduction measures. The objective of this study was to explore the significance of the uncertainties related to GHG emission reduction measures and policies by providing viewpoints on biofuels production, grid electricity consumption and differentiation of emission reduction commitments between countries and country groups. Life cycle assessment (LCA) and macro-level scenario analysis through top-down and bottom-up modelling and cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) were used as methods. The uncertainties were propagated in a statistical way through parameter variation, scenario analysis and stochastic modelling. This study showed that, in determining GHG emissions at product or process level, there are significant uncertainties due to parameters such as nitrous oxide emissions from soil, soil carbon changes and emissions from electricity production; and due to methodological choices related to the spatial and temporal system boundary setting and selection of allocation methods. Furthermore, the uncertainties due to modelling may be of central importance. For example, when accounting for biomass-based carbon emissions to and sequestration from the atmosphere, consideration of the temporal dimension is critical. The outcomes in differentiation of GHG emission reduction commitments between countries and country groups are critically influenced by the quality of data and criteria applied. In both LCA and effort sharing, the major issues are equitable attribution of emissions and emission allowances on the one hand and capturing consequences of measures and policies on the other. As LCA and system level top-down and bottom-up modelling results are increasingly used to justify various decisions by different stakeholders such as policy-makers and consumers, harmonization of practices, transparency and the handling of uncertainties related to

  10. Assessing the uncertainties of climate policies and mitigation measures. Viewpoints on biofuel production, grid electricity consumption and differentiation of emission reduction commitments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Soimakallio, S.

    2012-11-01

    Ambitious climate change mitigation requires the implementation of effective and equitable climate policy and GHG emission reduction measures. The objective of this study was to explore the significance of the uncertainties related to GHG emission reduction measures and policies by providing viewpoints on biofuels production, grid electricity consumption and differentiation of emission reduction commitments between countries and country groups. Life cycle assessment (LCA) and macro-level scenario analysis through top-down and bottom-up modelling and cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) were used as methods. The uncertainties were propagated in a statistical way through parameter variation, scenario analysis and stochastic modelling. This study showed that, in determining GHG emissions at product or process level, there are significant uncertainties due to parameters such as nitrous oxide emissions from soil, soil carbon changes and emissions from electricity production; and due to methodological choices related to the spatial and temporal system boundary setting and selection of allocation methods. Furthermore, the uncertainties due to modelling may be of central importance. For example, when accounting for biomass-based carbon emissions to and sequestration from the atmosphere, consideration of the temporal dimension is critical. The outcomes in differentiation of GHG emission reduction commitments between countries and country groups are critically influenced by the quality of data and criteria applied. In both LCA and effort sharing, the major issues are equitable attribution of emissions and emission allowances on the one hand and capturing consequences of measures and policies on the other. As LCA and system level top-down and bottom-up modelling results are increasingly used to justify various decisions by different stakeholders such as policy-makers and consumers, harmonization of practices, transparency and the handling of uncertainties related to

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Review: Balancing Limiting Factors and Economic Drivers to Achieve Sustainable Midwestern US Agricultural Residue Feedstock Supplies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wally W. Wilhelm; J. Richard Hess; Douglas L. Karlen; David J. Muth; Jane M. F. Johnson; John M. Baker; Hero T. Gollany; Jeff M. Novak; Diane E. Stott; Gary E. Varvel

    2010-10-01

    Advanced biofuels will be developed using cellulosic feedstock rather than grain or oilseed crops that can also be used for food and feed. To be sustainable, these new agronomic production systems must be economically viable without degrading soil resources. This review examines six agronomic factors that collectively define many of the limits and opportunities for harvesting crop residue for biofuel feedstock. These six “limiting factors” are discussed in relationship to economic drivers associated with harvesting corn (Zea mays L.) stover as a potential cellulosic feedstock. The limiting factors include soil organic carbon, wind and water erosion, plant nutrient balance, soil water and temperature dynamics, soil compaction, and off-site environmental impacts. Initial evaluations using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation 2.0 (RUSLE2) show that a single factor analysis based on simply meeting tolerable soil loss might indicate stover could be harvested sustainably, but the same analysis based on maintaining soil organic carbon shows the practice to be non-sustainable. Modifying agricultural management to include either annual or perennial cover crops is shown to meet both soil erosion and soil carbon requirements. The importance of achieving high yields and planning in a holistic manner at the landscape scale are also shown to be crucial for balancing limitations and drivers associated with renewable bioenergy production.

  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. Gas Emissions in Combustion of Biofuel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitázek Ivan

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, biomass or more precisely biofuel is more and more being exploited as a substitute for fossil fuels for heating as well as for example for heating a drying environment. This contribution focuses on assessing a heat source by combusting various types of solid biofuels. It is a boiler VIGAS 25 with AK 2000 regulation for heating a family house. Gaseous emissions were measured using a device TESTO 330-2LL. Firewood, peat briquettes, bark briquettes and hardwood briquettes were burnt. Results of experimental measurements concerning the production of gaseous emissions are processed in tables and graphs depending on boiler performance and combustion time.

  16. Panorama 2007: Biofuels and their Environmental Performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Today, the development of bio-fuel pathways is closely associated with targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transport sector. Well-to-wheel assessments indicate that the use of these automotive fuels of vegetable origin yield definite benefits in terms of GHG emissions and fossil energy consumption compared to petroleum-based automotive fuels. (author)

  17. The challenges of biofuels from the perspective of small-scale producers in Ohio

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Increased interest in renewable fuels in the United States, such as biodiesel and ethanol, is mainly the result of higher cost for traditional fuels after years of low prices. A growing concern over oil imports from politically unstable parts of the world has also led people to seriously consider alternatives to gasoline. Despite this attention, there are issues that challenge the widespread acceptance of biofuels, including the availability of raw materials and food security concerns. Ohio is one of the most productive agricultural states in the country, able to contribute significant amounts of corn and soybeans, the main feedstock for biofuels. Even though Ohio is rich in the raw materials needed for biofuel production, it is still an endeavor that mainly involves small businesses that face numerous challenges. Some of these challenges are national in scope, while others are localized. Interviews with small-scale biofuels producers in Ohio identify some of the major political, economic, and perceptual hurdles confronting this fledgling industry

  18. Bio-fuels of the first generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    After having briefly recalled the objective of use of renewable energies and the role bio-fuels may play, this publication briefly presents various bio-fuels: bio-diesel (from colza, soybean or sunflower oil), and ethanol (from beet, sugar cane, wheat or corn). Some key data regarding bio-fuel production and use in France are briefly commented. The publication outlines strengths (a positive energy assessment, a decreased dependency on imported fossil fuels and a higher supply safety, a diversification of agriculture revenues and prospects, a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions) and weaknesses (uncertainty regarding the evolution of soil use, an environmental impact related to farming methods) of this sector. Actions undertaken by the ADEME in collaboration with other agencies and institutions are briefly overviewed

  19. 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

  20. Risk assessment of PM2.5 to child residents in Brazilian Amazon region with biofuel production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Oliveira Beatriz Fátima

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Exposure to fine fractions of particulate matter (PM2.5 is associated with increased hospital admissions and mortality for respiratory and cardiovascular disease in children and the elderly. This study aims to estimate the toxicological risk of PM2.5 from biomass burning in children and adolescents between the age of 6 and 14 in Tangará da Serra, a municipality of Subequatorial Brazilian Amazon. Methods Risk assessment methodology was applied to estimate the risk quotient in two scenarios of exposure according to local seasonality. The potential dose of PM2.5 was estimated using the Monte Carlo simulation, stratifying the population by age, gender, asthma and Body Mass Index (BMI. Results Male asthmatic children under the age of 8 at normal body rate had the highest risk quotient among the subgroups. The general potential average dose of PM2.5 was 1.95 μg/kg.day (95% CI: 1.62 – 2.27 during the dry scenario and 0.32 μg/kg.day (95% CI: 0.29 – 0.34 in the rainy scenario. During the dry season, children and adolescents showed a toxicological risk to PM2.5 of 2.07 μg/kg.day (95% CI: 1.85 – 2 .30. Conclusions Children and adolescents living in the Subequatorial Brazilian Amazon region were exposed to high levels of PM2.5 resulting in toxicological risk for this multi-pollutant. The toxicological risk quotients of children in this region were comparable or higher to children living in metropolitan regions with PM2.5 air pollution above the recommended limits to human health.

  1. Bio-fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report presents an overview of the technologies which are currently used or presently developed for the production of bio-fuels in Europe and more particularly in France. After a brief history of this production since the beginning of the 20. century, the authors describe the support to agriculture and the influence of the Common Agricultural Policy, outline the influence of the present context of struggle against the greenhouse effect, and present the European legislative context. Data on the bio-fuels consumption in the European Union in 2006 are discussed. An overview of the evolution of the activity related to bio-fuels in France, indicating the locations of ethanol and bio-diesel production facilities, and the evolution of bio-fuel consumption, is given. The German situation is briefly presented. Production of ethanol by fermentation, the manufacturing of ETBE, the bio-diesel production from vegetable oils are discussed. Second generation bio-fuels are then presented (cellulose enzymatic processing), together with studies on thermochemical processes and available biomass resources

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Identification and overexpression of a Knotted1-like transcription factor in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) for lignocellulosic feedstock improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Wegi eWuddineh; Mitra eMazarei; Ji-Yi eZhang; Geoffrey eTurner; Robert eSykes; Decker, Stephen R.; Mark eDavis; Michael eUdvardi; Neal eStewart

    2016-01-01

    High biomass production and wide adaptation has made switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) an important candidate lignocellulosic bioenergy crop. One major limitation of this and other lignocellulosic feedstocks is the recalcitrance of complex carbohydrates to hydrolysis for conversion to biofuels. Lignin is the major contributor to recalcitrance as it limits the accessibility of cell wall carbohydrates to enzymatic breakdown into fermentable sugars. Therefore, genetic manipulation of the lignin ...

  5. Identification and Overexpression of a Knotted1-Like Transcription Factor in Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) for Lignocellulosic Feedstock Improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Wuddineh, Wegi A.; Mazarei, Mitra; Zhang, Ji-Yi; Turner, Geoffrey B; Sykes, Robert W.; Decker, Stephen R.; Davis, Mark F.; Udvardi, Michael K; Stewart, C. Neal

    2016-01-01

    High biomass production and wide adaptation has made switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) an important candidate lignocellulosic bioenergy crop. One major limitation of this and other lignocellulosic feedstocks is the recalcitrance of complex carbohydrates to hydrolysis for conversion to biofuels. Lignin is the major contributor to recalcitrance as it limits the accessibility of cell wall carbohydrates to enzymatic breakdown into fermentable sugars. Therefore, genetic manipulation of the lignin ...

  6. Will EU Biofuel Policies affect Global Agricultural Markets?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  7. Policies and regulations affecting biofuel development in Kenya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mouk, Benard O.; Kirui, Shadrack; Theuri, Daniel; Wakhungu, Judi W.

    2008-12-15

    An assessment of government initiatives to encourage biofuel development finds the industry is hampered by a lack of policy frameworks. The policy brief looks at the status and possibilities for the various initiatives.

  8. The legitimacy of biofuel certification

    OpenAIRE

    Partzsch, Lena

    2009-01-01

    Abstract The biofuel boom is placing enormous demands on existing cropping systems, with the most crucial consequences in the agri-food sector. The biofuel industry is responding by initiating private governance and certification. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the Cramer Commission, among others, have formulated criteria on ?sustainable? biofuel production and processing. This article explores the legitimacy of private governance and certification by the biofuel...

  9. 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. PMID:22586908

  10. Biofuels: making tough choices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vermeulen, Sonja; Dufey, Annie; Vorley, Bill

    2008-02-15

    The jury is still out on biofuels. But one thing at least is certain: serious trade-offs are involved in the production and use of these biomass-derived alternatives to fossil fuels. This has not been lost on the European Union. The year kicked off with an announcement from the EU environment commissioner that it may be better for the EU to miss its target of reaching 10 per cent biofuel content in road fuels by 2020 than to compromise the environment and human wellbeing. The 'decision tree' outlined here can guide the interdependent processes of deliberation and analysis needed for making tough choices in national biofuels development.

  11. The Danish Biofuel Debate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Janus

    2014-01-01

    from the molecular level and envisions positive synergies in the use of biomass. The other is a holistic bioscarcity perspective originating in life-cycle analysis and ecology. This perspective works downwards from global resource scope conditions, and envisions negative consequences from an increased...... of biofuels enrol scientific authority to support their positions? The sociological theory of functional differentiation combined with the concept of advocacy coalition can help in exploring this relationship between scientific claims-making and the policy stance of different actors in public debates...... about 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...

  12. Biogas and biofuels barometer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    European union countries are becoming more and more interested by the characteristics of biogas in terms of environment and energy production and are developing their proper channels of valorization according to their potential. In this way, biogas production reached nearly 5,3 million tons oil equivalent in 2006, representing a 13,6% increase with respect to 2005. Statistical data are provided on the primary energy production of biogas, the electricity production from biogas, gross heat production from biogas, and the representative firms of the biogas sector. In a second part the biofuels barometer is presented. The agricultural environment and landscape of the European Union countries is redefined a little more each year by energy crops for biofuel production. According to the first estimates for 2006, biofuel consumption reached 5,38 Mtoe last year in the EU, corresponding to a 1,8% share of the total consumption of fuels devoted to transport. (A.L.B.)

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Second-generation pilot biofuel units worldwide - Panorama 2008

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The production of biofuels from agricultural raw material is attracting great interest for many reasons, among them global warming, oil price hikes, the depletion of oil reserves and the development of new agricultural markets. However, the technologies currently under development are hindered by the fact that available land is limited and by a risk of competition with food crops. In the last few years, research and development efforts have sought to alleviate these limitations by exploring new pathways to convert little-used plant feedstocks to biofuels with better efficiencies. Large-scale research programs concentrating on these new technologies are underway in the U.S. and Europe, with industrial development expected between 2012 and 2020

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Metabolic Engineering of Microalgal Based Biofuel Production: Prospects and Challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Chiranjib; Dubey, Kashyap K; Shukla, Pratyoosh

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27065986