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Pioneer cellulosic biorefineries across the United States rely on a conventional feedstock supply system based on one-year contracts with local growers, who harvest, locally store, and deliver feedstock in low-density format to the conversion facility. While the conventional system is designed for high biomass yield areas, pilot scale operations have experienced feedstock supply shortages and price volatilities due to reduced harvests and competition from other industries.

Author(s):
Patrick Lamers, Eric Tan, Erin Searcy, Christopher Scarlata, Kara Cafferty, Jacob Jacobson
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.

Direct catalytic conversion of ethanol to hydrocarbon blend-stock can increase biofuels use in current vehicles beyond the ethanol blend-wall of 10–15%. Literature reports describe quantitative conversion of ethanol over zeolite catalysts but high C2 hydrocarbon formation renders this approach unsuitable for commercialization. Furthermore, the prior mechanistic studies suggested that ethanol conversion involves endothermic dehydration step.

Author(s):
Chaitanya K. Narula

Global development of the biofuel sector is proceeding rapidly. Biofuel feedstock continues to be produced from a variety of agricultural and forestry resources. Large-scale feedstock production for biofuels could change the landscape structure and affect water quantity, water quality, and ecosystem services in positive or negative ways. With rapid advancements in computation technologies and science, field- and watershed-scale models have become a vital tool for quantifying water quality and ecosystem responses to bioenergy landscape and management practices.

Author(s):
Zhonglong Zhang , May Wu
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.

Using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) for large-scale watershed modeling could be useful for evaluating the quality of the water in regions that are dominated by nonpoint sources in order to identify potential “hot spots” for which mitigating strategies could be further developed. An analysis of water quality under future scenarios in which changes in land use would be made to accommodate increased biofuel production was developed for the Missouri River Basin (MoRB) based on a SWAT model application.

The United States government has been promoting increased use of biofuels, including ethanol from non-food feedstocks, through policies contained in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The objective is to enhance energy security, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and provide economic benefits. However, the United States has reached the ethanol blend wall, where more ethanol is produced domestically than can be blended into standard gasoline. Nearly all ethanol is blended at 10 volume percent (vol%) in gasoline.

Author(s):
Caley Johnson , Emily Newes , Aaron Brooker , Robert McCormick , Steve Peterson , Paul Leiby , Rocio Uria Martinez , Gbadebo Oladosu , Maxwell L. Brown
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is supporting engine and vehicle research to investigate the potential of high-octane fuels to improve fuel economy. Ethanol has very high research octane number (RON) and heat of vaporization (HoV), properties that make it an excellent spark ignition engine fuel. The prospects of increasing both the ethanol content and the octane number of the gasoline pool has the potential to enable improved fuel economy in future vehicles with downsized, downsped engines.

Author(s):
John Thomas , Brian West , Shean Huff

Share and discuss provisional findings from coordinated DOE national laboratory studies on the opportunities and challenges associated with the deployment of high octane, mid-level ethanol blend transportation fuels.

There is an inextricable link between energy production and food/feed/fiber cultivation with available water resources. Currently in the United States, agriculture represents the largest sector of consumptivewater usemaking up 80.7%of the total. Electricity generation in the U.S. is projected to increase by 24 % in the next two decades and globally, the production of liquid transportation fuels are forecasted to triple over the next 25-years, having significant impacts on the import/export market and global economies.

Author(s):
Brandon C. Moore
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.

This report is a collective effort of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), including contributions from 137 researchers of 82 institutions in 24 countries. It concludes that land availability is not a limiting factor to bioenergy production and that bioenergy can contribute to sustainable energy supplies even with increasing food demands, preservation of forests, protected lands, and rising urbanization.
 

Author(s):
Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE)

This document was prepared to help address these questions by proposing guidelines that define a suite of voluntary biofuel sustainability performance indicators and can be used to inform best-value procurement decisions. These guidelines propose a sustainability framework composed of pillars, criteria, and indicators of protective performance reflective of the relevant U.S.

The aviation industry has committed to hold its carbon emissions steady after 2020 and cut net carbon emissions to half of the 2005 level by 2050. Achieving these goals will require low-carbon fuels, and aviation must drive technology and policy advances to build an aviation biofuel industry with sustainability in the foreground. In order to ensure that aviation biofuels deliver on their promise of long-term sustainability, aviation must leverage its market power and commit to robust sustainability standards in biofuel sourcing.

Author(s):
Debbie Hammel

There is a strong interest in the EU to promote the bioeconomy sector within the EU 2020 strategy. It is thus necessary to assure a sound sustainability framework. This paper reviews international and European sustainability initiatives mainly for biomass for bioenergy. The basic and advanced sustainability indicators are identified and described with particular attention to those points without agreement between stakeholders. Based on the state of the discussion, some suggestions to enhance the sustainable development of the bioeconomy sector are proposed.

Author(s):
Uwe R. Fritsche , Leire Iriarte

The first objective of this paper was to provide an inventory of developments of certification schemes for sustainable biomass production, following recent EU legislation (both formalized and under development). One main pillar is the EU Timber Regulation for legal harvesting; a second one is the EU’s 2010 recommendations for sustainable woody biomass sourcing for energy; the third one is the EU Waste Directive.

Author(s):
Richard Sikkema , Martin Junginger , Jinke van Dam , Gerben Stegeman , David Durrant , Andre Faaij

INTRODUCTION The U.S. Congress passed the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) seven years ago. Since then, biofuels have gone from darling to scapegoat for many environmentalists, policy makers, and the general public. The reasons for this shift are complex and include concerns about environmental degradation, uncertainties about impact on food security, new access to fossil fuels, and overly optimistic timetables. As a result, many people have written off biofuels.

Author(s):
Bruce E. Dale , James E. Anderson , Robert C. Brown , Steven Csonka , Virginia H. Dale , Gary Herwick , Randall D. Jackson , Nicholas Jordan , Stephen Kaffka , Keith L. Kline
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.