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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Renewable Product Technology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #288319

Title: Renewable and sustainable transportation fuels

item Liu, Siqing

Submitted to: Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/26/2012
Publication Date: 10/30/2012
Citation: Liu, S. 2012. Renewable and sustainable transportation fuels. Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology. 3(6). DOI: org/10.4172/2157-7463.1000e115.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This paper outlined the bioenergy research and production history as well as current status of renewable and sustainable transportation fuels in U.S. From starch based ethanol (first generation biofuel) to cellulosic ethanol (second generation biofuel), evident progress have been made in the past decade. Legislation like the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 has led to an aggressive expansion of starch to ethanol production in the U.S., growing from 175 million gallons in 1980 to 13.9 billion gallons in 2011. 10% ethanol blend with 90% gasoline (E10) has been widely used in U.S. roads (17 states) to replace MTBE as a safer oxygenate for gasoline formulations. E15 (15% ethanol) was recently approved by the U.S. EPA for use in select automobiles from 2001 and newer model years, and in all flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs), which have been built to operate E85 (85% ethanol). To date, seven commercial cellulosic plants are under construction in the U.S. although cost-competitive production remains a grand challenge. The development of "third generation" biofuels and bio-based replacements of petroleum products including jet fuel, gasoline, polymers, and chemical feedstocks from lignocellulosic materials will widen the biomass to bioenergy field. More innovative research and technologies are needed to create a sustainable bioenergy industry and to significantly reduce U.S. dependence on imported petroleum.