Review of the Research Strategy for Biomass-Derived Transportation Fuels

Committee to Review the R&D Strategy for Biomass-Derived Ethanol and Biodiesel Transportation Fuels

Board on Energy and Environmental Systems

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.



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Review of the Research Strategy for Biomass-Derived Transportation Fuels Review of the Research Strategy for Biomass-Derived Transportation Fuels Committee to Review the R&D Strategy for Biomass-Derived Ethanol and Biodiesel Transportation Fuels Board on Energy and Environmental Systems Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.

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Review of the Research Strategy for Biomass-Derived Transportation Fuels NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This report and the study on which it is based were supported by Contract No. DE-FG01-98EE50561 from the U.S. Department of Energy. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. Available in limited supply from: Board on Energy and Environmental Systems National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. HA-270 Washington, D.C. 20418 202-334-3505 Additional copies are available for sale from: National Academy Press Box 285 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20055 800-624-6242 or 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu International Standard Book Number: 0-309-06779-0 Copyright 1999 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

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Review of the Research Strategy for Biomass-Derived Transportation Fuels THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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Review of the Research Strategy for Biomass-Derived Transportation Fuels COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE R&D STRATEGY FOR BIOMASS-DERIVED ETHANOL AND BIODIESEL TRANSPORTATION FUELS DAVID L. MORRISON (chair), Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research (retired), Cary, North Carolina GARY COLEMAN, University of Maryland, College Park BRUCE E. DALE, Michigan State University, East Lansing ANTHONY J. FINIZZA, Atlantic Richfield Company (retired), Los Angeles, California ROBERT HALL, Amoco Corporation (retired), Winfield, Illinois DONALD JOHNSON, NAE,1 Grain Processing Corporation, Muscatine, Iowa ROBERTA NICHOLS, NAE, Ford Motor Company (retired), Plymouth, Michigan DANIEL SPERLING, University of California, Davis STEVEN H. STRAUSS, Oregon State University, Corvallis Liaison from the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems KATHLEEN C. TAYLOR, General Motors Corporation, Warren, Michigan Project Staff JAMES ZUCCHETTO, director, Board on Energy and Environmental Systems MARY JANE LETAW, program officer and study director CRISTELLYN BANKS, project assistant 1   NAE = National Academy of Engineering.

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Review of the Research Strategy for Biomass-Derived Transportation Fuels BOARD ON ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS ROBERT L. HIRSCH (chair), Advanced Power Technologies, Inc., Washington, D.C. RICHARD MESERVE (vice chair), Covington and Burling, Washington, D.C. RICHARD E. BALZHISER, NAE,1 Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (retired), Menlo Park, California EVERETT H. BECKNER, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Albuquerque, New Mexico E. GAIL DE PLANQUE, NAE, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (retired), Potomac, Maryland WILLIAM L. FISHER, NAE, University of Texas, Austin CHRISTOPHER FLAVIN, Worldwatch Institute, Washington, D.C. WILLIAM FULKERSON, University of Tennessee, Knoxville ROY G. GORDON, NAS,2 Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts EDWIN E. KINTNER, NAE, GPU Nuclear Corporation (retired), Norwich, Vermont ROBERT W. SHAW, JR., Arete[Aretê] Corporation, Center Harbor, New Hampshire K. ANNE STREET, Alexandria, Virginia JAMES SWEENEY, Stanford University, Stanford, California KATHLEEN C. TAYLOR, NAE, General Motors Corporation, Warren, Michigan JACK WHITE, The Winslow Group, LLC, Fairfax, Virginia JOHN J. WISE, NAE, Mobil Research and Development Company (retired), Princeton, New Jersey Liaisons from the Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems RUTH M. DAVIS, NAE, Pymatuning Group, Inc., Alexandria, Virginia LAWRENCE T. PAPAY, NAE, Bechtel Technology and Consulting, San Francisco, California Staff JAMES ZUCCHETTO, director RICHARD CAMPBELL, program officer SUSANNA CLARENDON, financial associate CRISTELLYN BANKS, project assistant 1   NAE = National Academy of Engineering. 2   NAS = National Academy of Sciences.

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Review of the Research Strategy for Biomass-Derived Transportation Fuels Acknowledgments The committee wishes to thank the representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy and the national laboratories who contributed significantly of their time and effort to this National Research Council study by giving presentations at meetings and responding promptly to committee requests for information (see Appendix C). The committee also acknowledges the valuable contributions of organizations outside the U.S. Department of Energy that provided information relevant to the study. Finally, the chairman wishes to recognize the committee members and the staff of the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems of the National Research Council for their hard work organizing and planning committee meetings and for their individual efforts in gathering information and writing sections of the report. This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the follow individuals for their participation in the review of this report: William G. Agnew, General Motors Corporation (retired); Dan Binkley, Colorado State University; David Bodde, University of MissouriKansas City; Toby Bradshaw, University of Washington College of Forest Resources; Robert Epperly, Epperly Associates, Inc.; Michael R. Ladisch, Purdue University; Ronald A. Sills, BP Amoco P.L.C.; Charles E. Wyman, Dartmouth College Thayer School of Engineering. While the individuals listed above have provided constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the NRC.

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Review of the Research Strategy for Biomass-Derived Transportation Fuels Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   5     Production and Manufacture of Bioethanol   5     Role of Government   6     Strategic Objectives for the Office of Fuels Development   7     Budget of the Office of Fuels Development   9     Study Goals   9 2   CONTEXT FOR BIOMASS-DERIVED FUELS   11     Historical Background and Public Policy   11     Advantages and Disadvantages of Biofuels   11     Alternative Fuels and Vehicle Technologies   14     Markets for Biomass-Derived Ethanol   14     Manufacturing Biomass-Derived Ethanol   18     Conclusions   20 3   FEEDSTOCK DEVELOPMENT   22     Program Objectives and Overview   22     Allocation of Funding   23     Shift in Strategic Direction   23     Genomics   24     Conclusions   26     Recommendations   26 4   PROCESSING TECHNOLOGIES   27     Program Objectives and Overview   27     Back to Fundamentals   27     Improving Conversion   28     Opportunities for Coproducts   29     Biodiesel   30     Conclusions   30     Recommendations   30 5   CROSSCUTTING OPPORTUNITIES   32     Systems Analysis   32     Technology Integration   32     Increasing Links   33     Improved Peer Review   33

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Review of the Research Strategy for Biomass-Derived Transportation Fuels     REFERENCES   34     APPENDICES         A Biographical Sketches of Committee Members   39     B Office of Fuels Development Fiscal Year 1999 Budget   41     C Committee Meetings and Other Activities   44     D Barriers to Using Ethanol   45     E Major Components of a Poplar Genomics Initiative   47

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Review of the Research Strategy for Biomass-Derived Transportation Fuels Tables, Figures, and Boxes Tables 1-1   Funding Allocations for the Office of Fuels Development Biofuels Program   10 2-1   Markets for Cellulosic Biomass-Derived Fuels   15 2-2   Cost Estimates for Bioethanol Manufacturing   18 3-1   Participants in the Feedstock Development Program, 1996-1999   23 3-2   Allocation of Funds for Feedstock Development Projects   24 Figures 1-1   Relative costs of processing steps in the NREL bioethanol process of 1991   7 1-2   Appropriations for the National Biomass Ethanol Program   9 2-1   Estimated manufacturing costs and the market value of cellulosic biomass-derived ethanol   20 4-1   Schematic diagram of the conversion of biomass feedstock to ethanol fuel   28 Box 3-1   What Is Genomics?   25

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