A study conducted by a government laboratory in partnership with General Motors revealed that the U.S. has the land, water and transportation resources necessary to make a whole lot of cellulosic ethanol. Enough, in fact, to replace one-third of our gasoline needs by 2030.
The seven-month study evaluated the country's ability to complete each step needed to produce biofuels from "seed to station" and at what volume. Researchers found that the U.S. could produce 90 billion gallons of biofuel per year by 2030 and that it would cost about the same as producing the equivalent amount of gasoline. The laboratory assumed the fuel would be made of "energy crops," fast-growing plants that would not use the same land as that used for food crops.
Other assumptions were that each ton of biomass would create 95 gallons of fuel and that each ton would cost $40. This would make the biofuel competitive with oil prices when oil is priced between $70 and $120 a barrel. The savings in CO2 emissions were calculated to be 250 million tons per 60 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol.
The big details missing from this study are how the fuel would be made and what exactly would be used to make it. There have been a lot of successful trial runs of biofuels and biofuel-blends, but no company has reached a point where they could manufacture cellulosic ethanol at a commercial level.
If you'd like to read more about this study, click here for the executive summary.
via Green Inc.
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