BiofuelsJuly2006shor tv2

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Biofuels: Think outside the Barrel: 

Biofuels: Think outside the Barrel Vinod Khosla July 2006 Ver 3.2

Implausible Assertions ?: 

Implausible Assertions ? We don’t need oil for cars & light trucks We definitely don’t need hydrogen! We don’t need new car/engine designs/distribution Rapid changeover of automobiles is possible! Little cost to consumers, automakers, government

Not so Magic Answer: Ethanol: 

Not so Magic Answer: Ethanol Cheaper Today in Brazil! Cheaper Today in Denver (May’06)!


Plausible? Brazil “Proof”: FFV’s 4% to ~80% of car sales in 3 yrs! Ethanol cost @ $0.75/gal vs Petroleum @ $1.60-2.20/gal Rumor: VW to phase out of all gasoline cars in 2006? Brazil Ethanol ~ 60-80% reduction in GHG Brazil: $50b on oil imports “savings”!


Possible? 5-6m US FFV vehicles, 4b gals ethanol supply, blending California: Almost as many FFV’s as diesel cars & light trucks! US prod. costs: Ethanol $1.00/gal vs Gasoline $1.60-$2:20/gal Rapid (20%+) increase of US ethanol production in process Easy, low cost switchover for automobile manufacturers

Why Ethanol?: 

Why Ethanol? Today’s cars & fuel distribution (mostly) Today’s liquid fuel infrastructure (mostly) Cheaper in produce (and sell?) Leverages current trends: FFV’s, Hybrids, Plug-ins,.. Part of fuel market via “blending” - just add E85

What makes it Probable?: 

What makes it Probable? Interest Groups Land Use Energy Balance Emissions Kickstart?

Why Ethanol?- Interest Groups: 

Why Ethanol?- Interest Groups Multiple Issues, One Answer Cheaper fuel for consumers (Cheap Hawks) More energy security & diversified sources (Right wingers) Higher farm incomes & rural employment (Sodbusters) Significant carbon emission reduction (Greens) Faster GDP growth, Lower Imports & energy prices ….. farmers, automakers, evangelicals, retailers, consumers, conservatives, security hawks, greens are all on the same page

What makes it Probable?: 

What makes it Probable? Interest Groups Land Use Energy Balance Emissions Kickstart?

Land Use: Reality (20-50 years): 

Land Use: Reality (20-50 years) NRDC: 114m acres for our transportation needs Jim Woolsey/ George Shultz estim. 60m acres Khosla: 40-60 m acres …. not including “the future” & “other sources” Ethanol from municipal & animal waste, forest Direct/new synthesis technologies, algae farms, forest clippings/woodchips

Energy Crops: Miscanthus: 

Energy Crops: Miscanthus 20 tons/acre? ( 10-30 tons/acre ( 1 years growth without replanting!

Biomass Will Make a Difference: 

Biomass Will Make a Difference Turning South Dakota into… …a member of OPEC?! Farm acres Tons/acre Gallons/ton Thousand barrels/day Today Tomorrow 44 Million 5 60 857 44 Million 15 80 3,429 Iraq Kuwait Libya Nigeria Thousand barrels/day 1,700 2,600 1,650 2,200 Qatar Saudi Arabia UAE 800 9,400 2,500 South Dakota 3,429 Iran 3,900 Venezuela 2,500 Algeria 1,380 Indonesia 925 Source: Ceres Company Presentation

Export Crop Lands Can Supply ALL our Gasoline Needs: 

Export Crop Lands Can Supply ALL our Gasoline Needs U.S. Cropland Unused or Used for Export Crops In 2015, 78M export acres plus 39M CRP acres could produce 384M gallons of ethanol per day or ~75% of current U.S. gasoline demand US Acreage Total = 2,300M acres Source: Ceres Company Presentation

What makes it Probable?: 

What makes it Probable? Interest Groups Land Use Energy Balance Emissions Kickstart?


Wrong Question: Energy Balance

Fossil Fuel Use: Argonne Study Fossil Energy Balance of Electricity is 25% of Corn Ethanol: 

Fossil Fuel Use: Argonne Study Fossil Energy Balance of Electricity is 25% of Corn Ethanol Legend EtoH = Ethanol Allo. = Allocation Disp. = Displacement 2X 4X 12X Red: Khosla Comments


Right Question #1: GHG Reduction per Mile Driven Corn Cellulosic


Answer: Even corn ethanol has a 90% reduction in Petroleum Trick: Fossil Energy is not the same as Petroleum Right Question #2: Petroleum Use Reduction


Energy Balance: Not Your Father’s Ethanol Source: NRDC Different Corn Ethanol Production Methods Have different Emissions

Great (5X) Energy Balance for “E3 Biofuels” Corn Ethanol: 

Great (5X) Energy Balance for “E3 Biofuels” Corn Ethanol The E3 BioSolution's a solid waste mangmt. facility an ethanol plant An animal feeding operation …. into a self-sustaining, closed loop system. E3 system virtually eliminates water, air and odor pollution produces ethanol using little or no fossil fuel,


“corn ethanol is providing important petroleum savings and greenhouse gas reductions” “very little petroleum is used in the production of ethanol …..shift from gasoline to ethanol will reduce our oil dependence” “cellulosic ethanol simply delivers profoundly more renewable energy than corn ethanol” NRDC Report - “Ethanol: Energy Well Spent” Don’t let best be the enemy of the good

What makes it Probable?: 

What makes it Probable? Interest Groups Land Use Energy Balance Emissions Kickstart?

Emission Levels of Two 2005 FFVs (grams per mile @ 50,000 miles): 

Emission Levels of Two 2005 FFVs (grams per mile @ 50,000 miles)


In Defense of Corn Ethanol TRAJECTORY, TRAJECTORY, TRAJECTORY Ethanol: from 500 to 3000 gallows per acre Reduces market risk – Funds cellulsoic ethanol Primes Infrastructure for cellulosic ethanol, biohols Compatible with hybrids, plug-ins, light-weighting,… Alternatives Biodiesel trajectory from 500 gallons per acre to 700 gpc? Electric: higher technology risk on batteries, higher consumer cost Biohols compatible if electrics get better, cheaper, greener,.. Look Beyond “what is” to “what can be” Revolution thru Evolution is Easier

Technology Progression: 

Technology Progression Corn Cellulosic Bioethanol Algae Synthetic Biorefinery Gasification Other Synthesis?

Technology Improvements: 

Bioengineering Enzymes Plant engineering Process & Process Yields Process Cost Pre-treatment Co-production of chemicals Process Yield gals/ ton Consolidated bioprocessing Technology Improvements Energy crops Miscanthus Switch grass Poplar Willow “Out of the Box” Thermochemical Synthetic Biology Better Fuels !!! Better Chemistries ????????

Companies & Technologies: 

Companies & Technologies Celunol Clearfuels Canavialis Edenspace Agrivada Mascoma Synthetic Genomics Alellyx Syntec Choren Unannounced…. Novozyme Genencor Diversa Iogen Ceres BRI Xenothol Corn Ethanol Cos Dupont/BP (Butanol) MSW to Ethanol Big guys….

Brazil sugar-cane/ethanol learning curve Liters of ethanol produced per hectare since between 1975 to 2004: 

Brazil sugar-cane/ethanol learning curve Liters of ethanol produced per hectare since between 1975 to 2004 30,000??


Average Cellulosic (27tpy/108gpt) Sugar Cane + Baggasse (11 tpy/102gpt) Corn, Cellulose, Cane Today Large Improvements Are Not Just For Silicon Brazil Energy Cane Cellulosic (10tpy/100gpt)

Three Simple Action Items: 

Three Simple Action Items Require 70% new cars to be Flex Fuel Vehicles … require yellow gas caps on all FFV’s & provide incentives to automakers Require E85 ethanol distribution at 10% of gas stations …. for owners or branders with more than 25 stations; Make VEETC credit variable with oil price ($0.25-0.75) …. providing protection against price manipulation by oil interests ....ensuring investors long term demand and oil price stability

Other “Helpful” Action Items: 

Other “Helpful” Action Items Switch ethanol credit from blenders to “producers” (for 5yrs only for new plants) Allow imports of foreign ethanol tax free for E85 only; extend RFS Provide “cellulosic” credits above “ethanol” credits; monetize energy act credit Institute RFS for E85 & cellulosic ethanol Switch CAFÉ mileage to “petroleum CAFÉ mileage”; reform & strengthen CAFE Loan guarantees for first few plants built with any “new technology” Institute a carbon cap and trade system Switch subsidies (same $/acre) to energy crops

Why Now? Projected World Oil Prices (EIA): 

Why Now? Projected World Oil Prices (EIA) Source: EIA Reports Alternative Technology Viability Zone

RISK: Oil vs. Hydrogen vs. Ethanol: 

RISK: Oil vs. Hydrogen vs. Ethanol Source: Khosla

A Darwinian IQ Test?: 

A Darwinian IQ Test? Feed mid-east terrorism or mid-west farmers? Import expensive gasoline or use cheaper ethanol? Create farm jobs or mid-east oil tycoons? Fossil fuels or green fuels? ANWR oil rigs or “prairie grass” fields? Gasoline cars or cars with fuel choices?

What Could Happen! Demand/Supply Projections: 

What Could Happen! Demand/Supply Projections


Projected supply of 173B gallons ethanol for FFV’s by 2030 E85 Market Additive Market We Must Kick Start the E85 Market!!

What is Happening…: 

What is Happening… Source: JJ&A Fuel Blendstock Report Problem Zone

US Ethanol Capacity Build-up: 

US Ethanol Capacity Build-up Source: Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Renewable Fuels Association 4.0 bgpy (263 kbd) …and rising! ? 4.5 bgpy (293 kbd) 2.6 bgpy (171 kbd) Billion Gallons Per Year Thousand Barrels Per Day Energy Bill statutory 2012 level: 7.5 billion gallons per year

Short Term Demand/Supply Forecast: 

Short Term Demand/Supply Forecast Source: JJ&A Fuel Blendstock Report ; Price trend estimates by Vinod Khosla Price

Myths Galore!: 

Myths Galore! Energy Balance – Not your father’s ethanol Not enough cropland – only if you try to make pigs fly! Food prices or the best thing for poverty? Lower energy content, lower mileage – in which engine? More expensive or poorly managed? US oil or Saudi oil? Existing infrastructure – for E85 or additive? Some or all pumps? Dubious environmental benefits – as additive E20 or E85? Cellulosic ethanol – real or not? Free marketeers hell or level playing field?


Positive Energy Balance Lorenz & Morris (1995) Wang et al. (1999) Agri Canada (1999) Shapouri et al (1995,2002, 2004) Kim & Dale (2002, 2004) Graboski (2002) Delucchi (2003) NR Canada (2005) Negative Energy Balance Pimentel & Patzek Only the Negative Studies are Cited! White House Memo (2005): “It is notable that only one study in the last ten years shows a negative energy balance”

My Favorite FFV . . .: 

My Favorite FFV . . . SAAB 9-5 Launched May’05 with +25hp with E85 25% mileage reduction going to 18% Another big ethanol mileage increase when hp held to gasoline hp

Bad Questions, Bad Data, Wrong Questions, Wrong Answers, and more…: 

Bad Questions, Bad Data, Wrong Questions, Wrong Answers, and more… The False Hope of Biofuels ( James Jordan & James Powell, Washington Post, July 2, 2006) Wrong questions: Not energy balance but balance versus gasoline or electricity Wrong data: bushels per acre, gallons per bushel, Use energy content not mileage- who cares about energy balance? Upside? “some researchers even claim that…” – what about many others? Moralizing about food – what about oil excesses? Is President Lulu wrong? Selective facts – quote impractical corn stover but ignore DOE Report Judgment calls – gallons per acre …and more!


2/3G oil energy = ½ unit of gasoline. Thus, today’s corn ethanol is 2X better than gasoline A $0.10 gasohol credit would imply 20% ethanol blend… NO! Average <10% $30-40 per barrel oil price seems like the likely breakeven within 5-7 years for cellulosic ethanol NOT $50-70 Conservatively we will reach 27tpa &110 gallons per dry ton or about 3000 gallons per acre in the US within 25 years. Error by 5-7X!!! Optimistically, we could achieve 5,000 gallons/acre by 2030! Off by 10X? WSJ Oped: Myths & Bad Data Abound!!

Developing Oil vs Ethanol: 

Developing Oil vs Ethanol Chevron’s Tahiti field will cost $5.5 billion be expensive to operate being in 24,000 feet of deep ocean. It will generate 125,000 barrels of oil a day or about a billion gallons of gasoline and similar amounts of other products. The same capital investment could produce 4 billion gallons of ethanol capacity (and other animal feed products) at little risk.

“Free Markets?”: GAO List of Oil Subsidies: 

“Free Markets?”: GAO List of Oil Subsidies Excess of Percentage over cost depletion” worth $82 billion dollar subsidy Expensing of exploration and development cost - $42 billion subsidy. Add on alternative fuel production credit (read oil shales, tar sands etc). Oil and gas exception from passive loss limitation Credit for enhanced oil recovery costs Expensing of tertiary injectants …and other esoteric tools the oil lobby has inserted into various legislation …and the indirect costs Katrina royalty relief to the tune of $7b Health-care costs of the air pollution they generate, Environmental cleanup costs when they have a spill, Cost of defense in the Mideast to stabilize the supply of crude oil, Cost of global warming and related damage ….indirect subsidies have been variously estimated at from a few tens of cents to many dollars per gallon

The Possible at “NORMAL” Margins! June 2006, Aberdeen , South Dakota: 

The Possible at “NORMAL” Margins! June 2006, Aberdeen , South Dakota

Biomass, Geopolitics & Poverty: 

Biomass, Geopolitics & Poverty Biomass & Poverty Belt

What makes it Probable?: 

What makes it Probable? Interest Groups Land Use Energy Balance Emissions Kickstart?


The Clean Alternative Energy Act A voter initiative for the November 2006 ballot

CA Oil Extraction Assessment: 

CA Oil Extraction Assessment Only major oil producing state with no oil fee Time for Calif. Big oil to pay their fair share



Technology Neutral Cleaner Air - Cheaper Fuels: 

Technology Neutral Cleaner Air - Cheaper Fuels


The Opposition: Big Oil


Big Oil’s Campaign : Spread Misinformation and Confusion BIG OIL: Tax will be paid by consumers THE TRUTH: Oil prices are set in world markets Consumer protection language written in State of Alabama V Exxon: No overturn CA Attorney General “Prohibits cost to consumers”



Side Bars: 

Side Bars

Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFV): 

Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFV) Little incremental cost to produce & low risk Consumer choice: use EITHER ethanol or gasoline Easy switchover for automobile manufacturers Fully compatible with Hybrid cars

Incremental Cost of FFV: 

Incremental Cost of FFV Sensor $70 (needed anyway in modern cars; not an additional cost) “Other” costs $30 Amortized Certification & Calib. $10 (volume cars)

Automakers adopting FFV’s!: 

Automakers adopting FFV’s! 2006 Ford 200-300K GM 250K Chrysler 100K+ 2007 GM 400K Chrysler 250K 2008 GM 600K Chrysler 500K Data from Chrysler PR, GM slides and Ford handout

Petroleum Displacement: 

Petroleum Displacement Annual Gasoline Savings of 477 Gallons/Year (Assumes 11,000 miles/year*) E85 FFV on Gasoline 16 mpg (EPA Adjusted Combined) E85 FFV on E85 12 mpg (EPA Adjusted Combined) * Personal Transportation Study - Oak Ridge Nat. Lab Data Book

Hybrid or FFV?: 

Hybrid or FFV?

Oil Companies Discouraging Use!: 

Oil Companies Discouraging Use!

More Resistance!!!: 

More Resistance!!! Misinformation about need for periodic gasoline refills in Brazil

Land Use: 

Land Use

Land Use Possibilities: 

Land Use Possibilities Dedicated intensive energy crop plantations “Export crop” lands Crop rotate row crops & “prairie grass” energy crops CRP lands planted with “prairie grasses” or equivalent Co-production of ethanol feedstocks & animal protein Waste from currently managed Lands

Potential for Billion Tons of Biomass: 

Potential for Billion Tons of Biomass “In the context of the time required to scale up to a large-scale biorefinery industry, an annual biomass supply of more than 1.3 billion dry tons can be accomplished with relatively modest changes in land use and agricultural and forestry practices” …. Or a 130billion++ gallons per year! Technical Feasibility of a Billion-Ton Annual Supply US Department of Energy Report , April 2005.

Miscanthus vs. Corn/Soy: 

Miscanthus vs. Corn/Soy Lower fertilizer & water needs Strong photosynthesis, perennial Stores carbon & nutrients in soil Great field characteristics, longer canopy season Economics: +$3000 vs -$300 (10yr profit per U Illinois)

Energy Crops: Switch Grass: 

Energy Crops: Switch Grass Natural prairie grass in the US; enriches soil Less water; less fertilizer; less pesticide Reduced green house gases More biodiversity in switchgrass fields (vs. corn) Dramatically less topsoil loss High potential for co-production of animal feed

Farmers Are Driven By Economics: 

Farmers Are Driven By Economics Per acre economics of dedicated biomass crops vs. traditional row crops Source: Ceres Company Presentation

Biomass as Reserves: One Exxon every 10 yrs!!: 

Biomass as Reserves: One Exxon every 10 yrs!! 1 acre 100M acres 209 barrels of oil* 20.9 billion barrels * Assumes 10 yr contract Source: Energy Intelligence (data as of end of 2004);Ceres presentation = =

Energy Balance & Fossil Fuel Use Reductions: 

Energy Balance & Fossil Fuel Use Reductions

NRDC Report - “Ethanol: Energy Well Spent”: 

NRDC Report - “Ethanol: Energy Well Spent” Gasoline “It is notable that Pimental is the only study in the last ten years to show a negative balance” – White House Memo, 2005 Red: Khosla Comments

NRDC Report - “Ethanol: Energy Well Spent”: 

NRDC Report - “Ethanol: Energy Well Spent” Gasoline Red: Khosla Comments

Ceres: What one company is doing…: 

Ceres: What one company is doing…

Expanding Usable Acreage…: 

Expanding Usable Acreage… Heat tolerance Drought tolerance Cold germination Drought recovery Salt tolerance Drought Inducible Promoters Source: Ceres Company Presentations

Increasing Tons per Acre…: 

Increasing Tons per Acre… Increased biomass Shade tolerance Flowering time Photosynthetic Efficiency Stature control Herbicide tolerance Source: Ceres Company Presentations

Reducing Dollars per Acre…: 

Reducing Dollars per Acre… Nitrogen uptake Increased root biomass Photosynthetic efficiency under low nitrogen Nitrogen partitioning Source: Ceres Company Presentations

Increasing Gallons per Ton…: 

Increasing Gallons per Ton… Gallons of ethanol per dry ton of feedstock* *Data represents theoretical yields as reported by Iogen Plant structure (How easy is it to access and digest?) Composition (How much carbohydrate is there?) Source: Ceres Company Presentations

Reducing Cost Through Enzyme Production…: 

Reducing Cost Through Enzyme Production… Activation Line X Target Line Protein Transcription factor Promoter Sterility Factor Fluorescent marker Tissue-specific promoters Ceres’ proprietary gene expression system Ceres promoter Industry standard promoter Source:Ceres Company Presentations

Ceres : Developing Commercial Energy Crops: 

Ceres : Developing Commercial Energy Crops Generating Plant Material for DNA Libraries to be Used in Molecular Assisted Breeding Transformation with Ceres’ Traits Ceres expects to have proprietary commercial varieties ready for market in 2-3 years and transgenic varieties in 5-7 1 day after trimming Re-growth after 15 days Embryogenic callus Shoot regenerated from callus Plant regeneration Source: Ceres Company Presentations

Strategy & Tactics: 

Strategy & Tactics Choice: Oil imports or ethanol imports? GDP – “beyond food to food & energy “ rural economy Add $5-50B to rural GDP Better use for subsidies through “energy crops” Rely on entrepreneurs to increase capacity Biotechnology & process technology to increase yields

Status: United States: 

Status: United States

E85 Availability and Appeal September 2005: 

E85 Availability and Appeal September 2005

Ethanol Capacity Expansion is Underway: 

Ethanol Capacity Expansion is Underway

Ethanol FFVs Are Here! California’s Motor Vehicle Population: 

Ethanol FFVs Are Here! California’s Motor Vehicle Population


Costs Source: Encyclopedia of Energy (Ethanol Fuels , Charlie Wyman)

NY Times Poll (3/2/2006): 

NY Times Poll (3/2/2006) Washington mandate more efficient cars – 89% No on Gasoline tax -87% No on Tax to reduce dependence on foreign oil -37% No on gas tax to reduce global warming – 34%


References NRDC Report: “Growing Energy” (Dec 2004) George Schultz & Jim Woolsey white paper “Oil & Security” Rocky Mountain Institute: “Winning the Oil Endgame” The Future of the Hydrogen Economy ( ) Fuel Ethanol: Background & Public Policy Issues (CRS Report for Congress, Dec. 2004)


ETHANOL: MARKET PERSPECTIVE Luiz Carlos Corrêa Carvalho Sugar and Alcohol Sectorial Chamber, Ministry of Agriculture, Brazil Assessing the Biofuels Option Joint Seminar of the International Energy Agency, the Brazilian Government and the United Nations Foundation Paris, 20 – 21 June 2005

Brazil: A Role Model: 

Brazil: A Role Model


Nearly 8x increase in sales in only 2 years New Car FFV Sales % 4% in Mar’03 50% in May’05 Can Rapid Adoption of FFV Happen? 80% in Mar’06


* São Paulo (SP) SOURCE: MAPA Source: Honorable Roberto Rodrigues, Minister of Agriculture, Brazil (Assessing Biofuels Conf., June 2005) Consumer Price Ratio


Ethanol: LEARNING CURVE Ethanol (producers BR) Gasoline (Rotterdam) (J Goldemberg, 2004)

Brazil sugar-cane/ethanol learning curve Liters of ethanol produced per hectare since between 1975 to 2004: 

Brazil sugar-cane/ethanol learning curve Liters of ethanol produced per hectare since between 1975 to 2004 30,000??


Ethanol Cost vs. Production Experience


The Ethanol application as vehicular fuel in Brazil. Brazilian Automotive Industry Association - ANFAVEA Energy & Environment Commission Henry Joseph Jr.


Source: Leal, Regis, CO2 Life Cycle Analysis of Ethanol Production and Use, LAMNET, Rome, may 2004 LIFE CYCLE GHC EMISSIONS IN ETHANOL PRODUCTION AND USE


Source: Leal, Regis, CO2 Life Cycle Analysis of Ethanol Production and Use, LAMNET, Rome, may 2004 Comparative Energy Balance


ETHANOL AND EMPLOYMENT ( IN THE PRODUCTION OF THE VEHICLE AND OF FUEL) Considering that an ethanol driven vehicle consumes, on average, 2.600 litres of ethanol per year ( one million litres of ethanol, per year, generates 38 direct jobs );for gasoline, spends 20% less fuel ( one million litres of gasoline, per year, generates 0,6 direct jobs); “C” gasoline contains 25% ethanol. Source: Copersucar/Unica/ANFAVEA/PETROBRAS

8. Relative Performance of Ethanol Engines: 

8. Relative Performance of Ethanol Engines

10. Comparative Raw Exhaust Emission: 

10. Comparative Raw Exhaust Emission

15. Comparative Aldehyde Emission: 

15. Comparative Aldehyde Emission

16. Comparative Evaporative Emission: 

16. Comparative Evaporative Emission


Characteristics of an Ideal Crop: Miscanthus: 

Characteristics of an Ideal Crop: Miscanthus Source :

Economics of Miscanthus Farming: 

Economics of Miscanthus Farming Source:

Hydrogen vs. Ethanol Economics: 

Hydrogen vs. Ethanol Economics Raw Material Costs: cost per Giga Joule (gj) Electricity @$0.04/kwh = $11.2/gj (Lower cost than natural gas) Biomass @$40/ton = $2.3/gj (with 70% conversion efficiency) Hydrogen from electricity costly vs. Ethanol from Biomass Hydrogen from Natural Gas no better than Natural Gas Cost multiplier on hydrogen: distribution, delivery, storage Higher fuel cell efficiency compared to hybrids not enough! Hydrogen cars have fewer moving parts but more sensitive, less tested systems and capital cost disadvantage Reference: The Future of the Hydrogen Economy ( )

Hydrogen vs. Ethanol: 

Hydrogen vs. Ethanol Ethanol: US automakers balance sheets ill-equipped for hydrogen switchover Ethanol: No change in infrastructure in liquid fuels vs. gaseous fuels Ethanol: Current engine manufacturing/maintenance infrastructure Ethanol: switchover requires little capital Ethanol: Agricultural Subsidies are leveraged for social good Ethanol: Faster switchover- 3-5 years vs 15-25yrs Ethanol: Low technology risk Ethanol: Incremental introduction of new fuel Ethanol: Early carbon emission reductions

Three of Ten Important Sources : 

Three of Ten Important Sources Production of corn stover and stalks from other grains (wheats, oats) totals well over 250 million dry tons. A combination of different crop rotations and agricultural practices (e.g. reduced tillage) would appear to have potential for a large fraction of these residues to be removed. For example, although complete removal of corn stover would result in a loss of about 0.26 tons of soil carbon per year, cultivation of perennial crops (e.g. switchgrass, Miscanthus) adds soil carbon at a substantially higher rate. Thus, a rotation of switchgrass and corn might maintain or even increase soil fertility even with 100% stover removal. This, however, brings up questions about the length of time land might be grown in each crop, since switchgrass would benefit from longer times to distribute the cost of establishment while corn would benefit from short times to maintain productivity and decrease losses due to pests. It is likely that some crop other than switchgrass as it exists today would be best for incorporation into a relatively high frequency rotation with corn. Targets for crop development could be identified and their feasibility evaluated. Winter cover crops grown on 150 million acres (@2tons/acre) = 300 million tons of cellulosic biomass. In recent years, U.S. soybean production has averaged about 1.2 tons of dry beans per acre annually. Given an average bean protein mass fraction of about 0.4, the annual protein productivity of soybean production is about 0.5 tons protein per acre. Perennial grass (e.g. switchgrass) could likely achieve comparable protein productivity on land used to grow soybeans while producing lignocellulosic biomass at about a rate of about 7 dry tons per acre annually. The limited data available suggest that the quality of switchgrass protein is comparable to soy protein, and technology for protein extraction from leafy plants is rather well-established. The 74 million acres currently planted in soybeans in the U.S. could, in principle, produce the same amount of feed protein we obtain from this land now while also producing over 520 million tons of lignocellulosic biomass. Alternatively, if new soy varieties were developed with increased above-ground biomass (option 4, Table 1), this could provide on the order of 350 million tons of lignocellulosic biomass – although soil carbon implications would have to be addressed. Source: Lee R. Lynd, “Producing Cellulosic Bioenergy Feedstocks from Currnently Managed Lands,” Stovers: 250m tons Winter Crops: 300m tons Soybeans: 350m tons


Ethanol: LEARNING CURVE Ethanol (producers BR) Gasoline (Rotterdam) (J Goldemberg, 2004)



11. The Fossil Fuels: 

11. The Fossil Fuels


Yield map for Miscanthus in Illinois (dots indicate trial sites ) [1]

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