Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Agricultural and Forestry Residue alone Might Provide Between 15% and 20% of Fuel

A Purdue University study suggests that using biomass residue alone in a gasification process might provide as much as 20% of US liquid transportation fuel. If you add dedicated biomass crops and oilseed crops it would be possible to approach 50% of fuels. If you add ocean-grown and coastal saline based crops, 100% is easily conceivable. The constraint on production appears to be a mental block caused by the delusional "food vs. fuels" debate being indulged in by the pseudo-intelligentsia.

More details on the Purdue study:
In addition to concluding that liquids derived from an FCTL process could replace 15-20% of transportation fuel in the US, the study suggests that:


The cost of the derived fuels is in the range of $1.50-$2.00/gallon gasoline equivalent—i.e., competitive with other biofuels;

Lifecycle water withdrawal and land use of fuels derived from FCTL process are less than other biofuels;

A FCTL plant may generate local but intensive water supply and water quality challenges and the development of integrated water management strategies within the plant is critical;

A FCTL system is more resilient against external disturbances—e.g. feedstock supply shocks and market demand changes than other biofuel technologies.

The paper calls for the development an integrated process simulation model of a FCTL plant and a complete life cycle assessment in order to achieve a better picture of the economic and environmental performance of such a process. _GCC
As noted, low quality coal would be used as a backup feedstock in the gasifier to liquid process. It is important to have backup feedstocks to maintain continuity of production, to minimise fluctuations in supply and price.



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