Convergence of Agriculture and Energy IV: Infrastructure Considerations for Biomass Harvest, Transportation and Storage

Principal Investigator(s):

Jerry Fruin, Former Professor, Applied Economics

Project summary:

There is broad scientific consensus that biomass crops and residues can replace fossil fuels, which should decrease the need to import petroleum, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and extend the life of the world's limited fossil fuel supplies. The United States is committed to expanding the role of biomass as an alternative energy source both to decrease imports of oil and gas and the production of greenhouse gases, as well as fostering the growth of agriculture, forestry, and rural economies. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates the production of 136 billion liters of renewable fuels by 2022 including 79 billion liters of advanced biofuels and cellulosic ethanol. However, it will also be necessary to develop new methods and systems to routinely and reliably store, transport, and handle large quantities of bulky materials of varying characteristics. These needs contrast with the well-developed logistics, grading, and marketing systems for grain biofuel feedstocks and fossil fuels. There have been a number of research activities aimed at providing solutions to specific unit processes within the feedstock provision value chain. This research project reviews these biomass logistics requirements and some of the projects that have been initiated for effective logistics systems from field to processor for energy crops.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2009105
  • Start date: 06/2009
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Environment, Freight