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Water consumption and water quality continue to be key factors affecting environmental sustainability in biofuel production. This review covers the findings from biofuel water analyses published over the past 2 years to underscore the progress made, and to highlight advancements in understanding the interactions among increased production and water demand, water resource availability, and potential changes in water quality. We focus on two key areas: water footprint assessment and watershed modeling.

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

This project looks at the potential of blending ethanol with natural gasoline to produce Flex-Fuels (ASTM D5798-13a) and high-octane, mid-level ethanol blends. Eight natural gasoline samples were collected from pipeline companies or ethanol producers around the United States.

Author(s):
Teresa L. Alleman
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.

The objective of this work was to measure knock resistance metrics for ethanol-hydrocarbon blends with a primary focus on development of methods to  measure the heat of vaporization (HOV). Blends of ethanol at 10 to 50 volume percent were prepared with three gasoline blendstocks and a natural gasoline.

Author(s):
Gina M. Chupka
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.

High-octane fuels (HOFs) such as mid-level ethanol blends can be leveraged to design vehicles with increased engine efficiency, but producing these fuels at refineries may be subject to energy efficiency penalties.  It has been questioned whether, on a well-to-wheels (WTW) basis, the use of HOFs in the vehicles designed for HOF has net greenhouse gas (GHG) emission benefits.

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

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.

Author(s):
Peterson, Steve

Indicators are needed to assess environmental sustainability of bioenergy systems. Effective indicators
will help in the quantification of benefits and costs of bioenergy options and resource uses. We identify
19 measurable indicators for soil quality, water quality and quantity, greenhouse gases, biodiversity, air
quality, and productivity, building on existing knowledge and on national and international programs
that are seeking ways to assess sustainable bioenergy. Together, this suite of indicators is hypothesized

Author(s):
McBride, Allen

Country borders have been chosen as system boundaries to inventory GHG emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. The use of country boundaries is clear and allows summing over all countries. The country inventories purposefully account for where and when both fossil-fuel combustion emissions occur, and changes in the biological stocks of carbon occur. The approach can be widely adopted, but this accounting is hampered by uncertain data (1, 2) and two basic shortcomings: Not all countries are required to report, and not all biological carbon stocks are inventoried.

Author(s):
Kline, Keith

A primary objective of current U.S. biofuel law – the “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007” (EISA) – is to reduce dependence on imported oil, but the law also requires biofuels to meet carbon emission reduction thresholds relative to petroleum fuels. EISA created a renewable fuel standard with annual targets for U.S. biofuel use that climb gradually from 9 billion gallons per year in 2008 to 36 billion gallons (or about 136 billion liters) of biofuels per year by 2022. The most controversial aspects of U.S.

Author(s):
Keith L. Kline , Gbadebo Oladosu

Despite recent claims to the contrary, plant-based fuels developed in economically and environmentally sensible ways can contribute significantly to the nation’s— indeed, the world’s—energy security while providing a host of benefits for many people worldwide.

Author(s):
Keith L. Kline , Virginia H. Dale , Russell Lee , Paul Leiby