DOE updated study highlights potential of next generation biofuels

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An update to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Billion Ton Study first conducted in 2005 reaffirms the belief that America possesses ample biomass resources (grasses, ag wastes, wood wastes, energy crops, etc.) to more than meet our national goals to replace increasing volumes of oil and other fossil fuels.  The updated analysis was released by DOE yesterday and is available here.

The 2010 Billion Ton Study update states that under its baseline scenario, sufficient volumes of biomass feedstocks would be available for conversion into ethanol and other biofuels and capable of meeting the goals of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).  The DOE study states, “This potential resource is more than sufficient to provide feedstock to produce the required 20 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels. The high-yield scenario demonstrates potential at the $60 price that far exceeds the RFS mandate.”  The 2022 RFS requirments for advanced and cellulosic biofuels (i.e. those fuels not derived from corn starch and meeting the greenhouse gas reduction requirements) is 21 billion gallons.

“America has both the resources and the know-how to break our addiction to foreign oil,” said Advanced Ethanol Council Executive Director Brooke Coleman.  “What is lacking is the political will to stand up to oil special interests and level the playing field for all biofuels, including next generation ethanol, to compete.  Scores of promising technologies are ready for commercial deployment, but are being held up by an unstable and unpredictable policy climate.  In order to deploy these technologies to harness the potential of America’s vast biomass resources, and to compete in the global race to produce next generation fuels, consistent and stable policy relating to biofuels is essential.  That means continuing investment in new technologies, expanding refueling opportunities for domestically produced, non-petroleum fuels like ethanol, and protecting the integrity and the intent of the RFS.”

Source: Advanced Ethanol Council

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