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Several EU countries import wood pellets from the south-eastern United States. The imported wood pellets are (co-)fired in power plants with the aim of reducing overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electricity and meeting EU renewable energy targets. To assess whether GHG emissions are reduced and on what timescale, we construct the GHG balance of wood-pellet electricity. This GHG balance consists of supply chain and combustion GHG emissions, carbon sequestration during biomass growth and avoided GHG emissions through replacing fossil electricity.

Author:
Hanssen SV , Duden AS , Junginger HM , Dale VH , van der Hilst F

Quantifying lignin and carbohydrate composition of corn (Zea mays L.) is important to support the emerging cellulosic biofuels industry. Therefore, field studies with 0 or 100 % stover removal were established in Alabama and South Carolina as part of the Sun Grant Regional Partnership Corn Stover Project. In Alabama, cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) was also included as an additional experimental factor, serving as a winter cover crop.

Author:
Spyridon Mourtzinis , Keri B. Cantrell , Francisco J. Arriaga , Kipling S. Balkcom , Jeff M. Novak , James R. Frederick , Douglas L. Karlen

The harvest of corn stover or herbaceous crops as feedstocks for bioenergy purposes has been shown to have significant benefits from energy and climate change perspectives. There is a potential, however, to adversely impact water and soil quality, especially in Midwestern states where the biomass feedstock production would predominantly occur.

Author:
Nelson, Richard

National interests in greater energy independence, concurrent with favorable market forces, have driven increased production of corn-based ethanol in the United States and research into the next generation of biofuels. The trend is changing the national agricultural landscape and has raised concerns about potential impacts on the nation?s water resources. This report examines some of the key issues and identifies opportunities for shaping policies that help to protect water resources.

Author:
Schnoor, Jerald

Discussions of alternative fuel and propulsion technologies for transportation often overlook the infrastructure required to make these options practical and cost-effective. We estimate ethanol production facility locations and use a linear optimization model to consider the economic costs of distributing various ethanol fuel blends to all metropolitan areas in the United States. Fuel options include corn-based E5 (5% ethanol, 95% gasoline) to E16 from corn and switchgrass, as short-term substitutes for petroleum-based fuel.

Author:
William R. Morrow

Power generation emits significant amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs), mainly carbon dioxide (CO2). Sequestering CO2 from the power plant flue gas can significantly reduce the GHGs from the power plant itself, but this is not the total picture. CO2 capture and sequestration consumes additional energy, thus lowering the plant's fuel-to-electricity efficiency. To compensate for this, more fossil fuel must be procured and consumed to make up for lost capacity.

Author:
Spath, Pam

Biomass is a significant contributor to the US economy--agriculture, forest and paper products, food and related products account for 5% of our GDP. While the forest products industry self generates some of their energy, other sectors are importers. Bioenergy can contribute to economic development and to the environment. Examples of bioenergy routes suggest that atmospheric carbon can be cycled through biofuels in carefully designed systems for sustainability. Significant potential exists for these options.

Author:
Costello, Raymond

The estimation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a change in land-use and management resulting from growing biofuel feedstocks has undergone extensive – and often contentious – scientific and policy debate. Emergent renewable fuel policies require life cycle GHG emission accounting that includes biofuel-induced global land-use change (LUC) GHG emissions. However, the science of LUC generally, and biofuels-induced LUC specifically, is nascent and underpinned with great uncertainty.

The U.S. biomass resource can be used several ways that provide domestic, renewable energy to users. Understanding the capacity of the biomass resource, its potential in energy markets, and the most economic utilization of biomass is important in policy development and project selection. This study analyzed the potential for biomass within markets and the competition between them.

Organization:
DOE

The petroleum-based transportation fuel system is complex and highly developed, in contrast to the nascent low-petroleum, low-carbon alternative fuel system. This report examines how expansion of the low-carbon transportation fuel infrastructure could contribute to deep reductions in petroleum use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the U.S. transportation sector.