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Small-Scale Biorefinery Process for Sustainable Local Biomass Utilization

Kazuhiro Mochidzuki, Univ. of Tokyo, 1-8 Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba, 263-0022, Japan, Akiyoshi Sakoda, Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 153-8505, Japan, Mistuhiro Takayama, Synthetic Environment Research & Planning Institute Co.,Ltd., Matsumoto, Japan, and Yasuo Igarashi, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Univ. of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Local Fuel is a concept that achieves a reasonable regional energy system based on local production of fuels for local consumption from locally available feedstock. As the locally available feedstock, biomass is one of the most promising resources. Because the local fuel system is operated within a limited area, long distance transportation of both biomass feedstock and the fuels produced is not needed. Therefore, the inefficient use of transportation energy can be prevented. Furthermore, the local fuel system does not require the national-wide infrastructure to distribute uniform fuels. This self-sufficient biomass energy system meets the recent strategy for the efficient utilization of regionally-distributed biomass under a concept of Biomass Town. We have proposed and developed the local fuel system focusing on some existing regions. This presentation deals with the design and demonstration of the small-scale biorefinery process that produces the local fuel from locally available biomass. The core of the process is a small-scale bioethanol production powered by a biomass boiler. The bioethanol obtained here is used in the local transportations. The feedstocks for both bioethanol and boiler are unused biomass resources and/or energy crop obtained in the region. The residues from the bioethanol process are used as organic fertilizer. The biomass boiler produces charcoal/ash as well as the energy (steam). The charcoal/ash can be used as soil additives. The application of the organic fertilizer and soil additives creates regional material circulation.