Study Shows Cellulosic Ethanol Goals Attainable

Cindy Zimmerman

A new study finds that large scale production of cellulosic ethanol beyond the level of the Renewable Fuel Standard is achievable and sustainable by 2030, with accelerated development of biofuel and agricultural technology.

BIOThe Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) today announced the release of “The 90-Billion Gallon Biofuel Deployment Study,” a new report by Sandia National Laboratories and General Motors Corp. The report investigates the challenges and feasibility of increasing biofuel production targets to 90 billion gallons, which would displace nearly a third of projected transportation fuel use in 2030.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section, says “This new study shows clearly that building U.S. production of cellulosic biofuels is a sound way to significantly reduce U.S. reliance on petroleum in the transportation sector. The study uses relatively conservative assumptions about the development of cellulosic biorefineries as well as the availability and possible yields of biomass to show that large-scale production of cellulosic biofuels can be done. Moreover, cellulosic biofuels can compete with high prices for oil while requiring investment equal to or less than that needed to find and develop new sources of domestic oil.”

Sandia National Laboratories’ Biofuels Deployment Model was used to complete the 90 billion gallon study, which found that cellulosic biofuels could compete without incentives with oil priced between $70 and $90 per barrel in 2030, with accelerated development of
technology and feedstocks.

BIO, Cellulosic, Ethanol, News