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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To evaluate the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of fuel oil (bio-oil) and biochar co-products derived from agricultural residues to test its suitability as a substitute for fuel oil through life cycle analysis. Identify and quantify all process inputs (e.g., N, P, K) to replace residue removed from land and collection activities.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Construct a base-case scenario that evaluates the full life cycle greenhouse gas emissions converting agricultural feedstock to pyrolysis oil and biochar, construct cost analysis to estimate the cost of mitigating GHG and compare the pyrolysis oil/biochar scenario with the life cycle emissions of fossil fuel. Track material and energy inputs and GHG emissions to air from the feedstock production, collection, transport, fuel conversion, fuel transport and distribution, and use in a hypothetical 100% ethanol (E100) vehicle.

3. Progress Report:
A Life Cycle Analysis model of using Pennsylvania grown corn stover as a feedstock for fast pyrolysis was developed. The model looked at greenhouse gas emissions avoided via combustion of the bio-oil for generation of electricity and utilization of the char for soil amendment and carbon sequestration. The results were presented at the AIChE annual meeting in October 2011.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 07/19/2017
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