With the goal of understanding environmental effects of a growing bioeconomy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), national laboratories, and U.S. Forest Service research laboratories, together with academic and industry collaborators, undertook a study to estimate environmental effects of potential biomass production scenarios in the United States, with an emphasis on agricultural and forest biomass. Potential effects investigated include changes in soil organic carbon (SOC), greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water quality and quantity, air emissions, and biodiversity.
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The Federal Activities Report on the Bioeconomy has been prepared to emphasize the significant potential for an even stronger U.S. bioeconomy through the production and use of biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. Bioeconomy activities have already touched on the interests of many federal agencies and offices. This report is intended to educate the public on the wide-ranging, federally funded activities that are helping to bolster the bioeconomy.
This paper describes the current Biomass Scenario Model (BSM) as of August 2013, a system dynamics model developed under the support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The model is the result of a multi-year project at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). It is a tool designed to better understand biofuels policy as it impacts the development of the supply chain for biofuels in the United States.
Biofuels are promoted in the United States through aggressive legislation, as one part of an overall strategy to lessen dependence on imported energy as well as to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases (Office of the Biomass Program and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 2008). For example, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) mandates 36 billion gallons of renewable liquid transportation fuel in the U.S. marketplace by the year 2022 (U.S. Government, 2007).
The framework for National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap was constructed at the Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap Workshop, held December 9-10, 2008, at the University of Maryland-College Park. The Workshop was organized by the Biomass Program to discuss and identify the critical challenges currently hindering the development of a domestic, commercial-scale algal biofuels industry. This Roadmap presents information from a scientific, economic, and policy perspectives that can support and guide RD&D investment in algal biofuels.
Meeting the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) renewable fuels goals requires development
of a large sustainable domestic supply of diverse biomass feedstocks. Macroalgae, also known as
seaweed, could be a potential contributor toward this goal. This resource would be grown in marine
waters under U.S. jurisdiction and would not compete with existing land-based energy crops.
Very little analysis has been done on this resource to date. This report provides information needed for an
This model was developed at Idaho National Laboratory and focuses on crop production. This model is an agricultural cultivation and production model, but can be used to estimate biomass crop yields.
NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science's (NCCOS's) PCMHAB program funds research to move promising technologies for preventing, controlling, or mitigating HABs and their impacts through development, to demonstration, and, finally application, culminating in wide spread use in the field by end-users. A more detailed description of the program and its projects are available at the link below.
National biomass feedstock assessments (Perlack et al., 2005; DOE, 2011) have focused on cellulosic biomass resources, and have not included potential algal feedstocks. Recent research (Wigmosta et al., 2011) provides spatially-‐explicit information on potential algal biomass and oil yields, water use, and facility locations. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Lab are collaborating to integrate terrestrial and algal feedstock resource assessments. This poster describes preliminary results of this research.
Algae feedstocks for alternative fuels production are not economically competitive with fossil fuels at the present time. Furthermore, it has not yet been demonstrated that algae production systems offer improved sustainability characteristics.