Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/27/2014
Publication Date: 8/13/2014
Citation: Hughes, S.R., Qureshi, N. 2014. Biomass for biorefining: Resources, allocation, utilization, and policies. In: Qureshi, N., Hodge, D., Vertes, A., editors. Biorefineries: Integrated Biochemical Processes for Liquid Biofuels. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier. p. 37-58.
Technical Abstract: The importance of biomass in the development of renewable energy, the availability and allocation of biomass, its preparation for use in biorefineries, and the policies affecting biomass are discussed in this chapter. Bioenergy development will depend on maximizing the amount of biomass obtained from agriculture and forestry while prioritizing nature conservation and protection of soils, water, and biodiversity. The major challenges facing commercial production of biofuels and bioproducts are sustainable biomass availability and capital-intensive biomass processing facilities. The two main competitors for biomass resources are biopower and biofuels, and their future status depends on the federal and state regulations governing them. A combination of policies encouraging infrastructure investment and supporting favorable market conditions appears to be the most effective in establishing an economically sustainable biofuel supply chain. Understanding the extent of biomass resources, their potential in energy markets, and the most economic utilization of biomass is important in the development of policies that improve energy security and mitigate climate change.