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ARS Home » Plains Area » Mandan, North Dakota » Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #319224

Research Project: Sustainable Agricultural Systems for the Northern Great Plains

Location: Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory

Title: Energy analysis and break-even distance for transportation for biofuels in comparison to fossil fuels

Author
item Tumuluru, Jaya - Idaho National Laboratory
item Igathinathane, C - North Dakota State University
item Archer, David
item Mcculloch, Richard - Idaho National Laboratory

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/23/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In the present analysis various forms fuel from biomass and fossil sources, their mass and energy densities, and their break-even transportation distances to transport them effectively were analyzed. This study gives an insight on how many times more energy spent on transporting the fuels to different distances than the energy that is originally present. The analysis utilizes a conceptual ideal vehicle offering no self-load resistance and having 100% efficiency, filled with a test fuel cover before it runs out of fuel for evaluating the break-even distances. Biomass types that were considered include herbaceous biomass like agricultural straws (e.g., wheat, oat, barley, rice straws), energy crops (e.g., miscanthus, switchgrass, energy sorghum), woody biomass (e.g., wood chips, saw dust) and densified form of both woody and herbaceous biomass. Fossil fuels that were used for the present analysis are gasoline, diesel, and coal. The analysis includes the calculating the mass density and energy content of these energy sources, their break-even hauling distances. Analyses were performed by comparing the energy content of the fuel with the energy required to transport these fuels (biomass and fossil derived). Outputs of the study were presented in the form of a spider/radial chart for the different fuels with their break-even transporting distances. Results of this work will help in effective planning and logistics of fuels transportation.