393575 Sustainable Cellulosic Feedstock Supply Chains

Monday, November 17, 2014: 9:30 AM
International C (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)
Steven R. Thomas, DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), Golden, CO

This is an extremely exciting time in the nascent cellulosic biofuels industry!  Commercial-scale cellulosic biorefineries are starting to come online.  With the recent grand opening of the POET-DSM biorefinery in Emmetsburg, IA, and the Abengoa biorefinery in Hugoton, KS, and the imminent start-up of the DuPont biorefinery in Nevada, IA, nearly 100 million gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol production capacity has been built.  Each of these three cellulosic ethanol facilities will use corn stover as their main feedstock.  BETO is hopeful that each of these facilities will be able to start up smoothly, and quickly attain their rated production capacity. 

Largely because of the ethanol blend wall, which currently constrains its use in gasoline to about 14 or 15 BGY, BETO has turned its attention toward developing technologies to convert cellulosic and algal biomass to drop-in hydrocarbon fuels and bioproducts.  Current programmatic goals are to develop technologies that can produce hydrocarbon fuels that can blended with gasoline, diesel and jet fuels to replace the entire barrel of imported petroleum at a target price of $3/gallon of gasoline equivalent ($3/GGE).  Embedded within this overall goal is another to develop and demonstrate technologies that can sustainably deliver a wide variety of cellulosic feedstocks to biorefineries at an average cost of $80/dry ton ($2011), while simultaneously meeting process-specific physical and chemical quality specifications and maintaining or improving environmental and social metrics. 

No conversion process can be considered sustainable without access to an adequate supply of affordable feedstock that meets process in-feed specifications.  To this end, BETO has focused attention on the feedstock logistics components of the supply chain.  Logistics operations include harvest, preprocessing, transport and storage of woody and herbaceous feedstock materials, but not production costs or producer profit.  Highlights from recently completed feedstock logistics projects that aimed to reduce the delivered cost of a variety of feedstock materials will be presented. 

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See more of this Session: Plenary Session: Sustainable Biorefineries (Invited Talks)
See more of this Group/Topical: Sustainable Engineering Forum