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Title Author Date Category
From Biomass to Biofuels: NREL Leads the Way 8/1/2006 Brochures & Fact Sheets

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado

The brochure describes how biofuels are produced, the U.S. potential for biofuels, and NREL's approach to efficient, affordable biofuels.

Transportation Energy Futures Series: Projected Biomass Utilization for Fuels and Power in a Mature Market Ruth, M.; Mai, T.; Newes, E.; Aden, A.; Warner, E.; Uriarte, C.; Inman, D.; Simpkins, T.; Argo, A. 3/1/2013 Reports

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado

The viability of biomass as transportation fuel depends upon the allocation of limited resources for fuel, power, and products. By focusing on mature markets, this report identifies how biomass is projected to be most economically used in the long term and the implications for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and petroleum use. In order to better understand competition for biomass between these markets and the potential for biofuel as a market-scale alternative to petroleum-based fuels, this report presents results of a micro-economic analysis conducted using the Biomass Allocation and Supply Equilibrium (BASE) modeling tool. The findings indicate that biofuels can outcompete biopower for feedstocks in mature markets if research and development targets are met. The BASE tool was developed for this project to analyze the impact of multiple biomass demand areas on mature energy markets. The model includes domestic supply curves for lignocellulosic biomass resources, corn for ethanol and butanol production, soybeans for biodiesel, and algae for diesel. This is one of a series of reports produced as a result of the Transportation Energy Futures (TEF) project, a Department of Energy-sponsored multi-agency project initiated to pinpoint underexplored strategies for abating GHGs and reducing petroleum dependence related to transportation.

Assessment of Life-Cycle Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emission Effects from Using Corn-Based Butanol as a Transportation Fuel M. Wu, M. Wang, J. Liu, and H. Huo 11/26/2007 Reports

Center for Transportation Research, Energy Systems Division, Argonne National Laboratory

Production of Butyric Acid and Butanol from Biomass Ramey, D.; Yang, S-T 1/1/2004 Reports

Environmental Energy Inc., Blacklick, Ohio; Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Butanol was used to replace gasoline gallon for gallon in a 10,000 mile trip across the U.S. without the need to highy modify a 1992 Buick. Butanol can now be made for less than ethanol and yields more BTUs from the same corn, making the plow-to-tire equation positive. Butanol when substituted for gasoline gives better gas mileage and does not pollute the atmosphere.

Life-Cycle Assessment of Corn-Based Butanol as a Potential Transportation Fuel Wu, M.; Wang, M.; Liu, J.; Huo, H. 11/1/2007 Reports

Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois; Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois; Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois; Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois

Butanol produced from bio-sources (such as corn) could have attractive properties as a transportation fuel. Production of butanol through a fermentation process called acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) has been the focus of increasing research and development efforts. The purpose of this study is to estimate the potential life-cycle energy and emission effects associated with using bio-butanol as a transportation fuel. The study employs a well-to-wheels analysis tool named the Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) model developed by Argonne National Laboratory and the Aspen Plus model developed by AspenTech. The study describes the butanol production from corn, including grain processing, fermentation, gas stripping, distillation, and adsorption for products separation. Our study shows that, while the use of corn-based butanol achieves energy benefits and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, the results are affected by the methods used to treat the acetone that is co-produced in butanol plants.