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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Co-Optimization (Co-Optima) initiative is accelerating the introduction of affordable, scalable, and sustainable fuels and high-efficiency, low-emission engines with a first-of-its-kind effort to simultaneously tackle fuel and engine research and development (R&D).

Author(s):
John Farrell , John Holladay , Robert Wagner
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

Understanding the environmental effects of alternative fuel production is critical to characterizing the sustainability of energy resources to inform policy and regulatory decisions. The magnitudes of these environmental effects vary according to the intensity and scale of fuel production along each step of the supply chain. We compare the spatial extent and temporal duration of ethanol and gasoline production processes and environmental effects based on a literature review and then synthesize the scale differences on space-time diagrams.

Author(s):
Parish, Esther

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

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

IN THEIR REPORTS IN THE 29 FEBRUARY ISSUE (“LAND CLEARING AND THE BIOFUEL CARBON debt,” J. Fargione et al., p. 1235, and “Use of U.S. croplands for biofuels increases greenhouse gases through emissions from land-use change,” T. Searchinger et al., p. 1238), the authors do not provide adequate support for their claim that biofuels cause high emissions due to land-use change. The conclusions of both papers depend on the misleading premise that biofuel production causes forests and grasslands to be converted to agriculture.

Author(s):
Keith L. Kline , Virginia H. Dale

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(s):
William R. Morrow