Nav: Home

US holds potential to produce billion tons of biomass, support bioeconomy

July 12, 2016

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2016 - The 2016 Billion-Ton Report, jointly released by the U.S. Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, concludes that the United States has the potential to sustainably produce at least 1 billion dry tons of nonfood biomass resources annually by 2040.

These renewable resources include agricultural, forestry and algal biomass, as well as waste. They encompass the current and future potential of biomass, from currently available logging and crop residues to future available algae and dedicated energy crops--all useable for the production of biofuel, biopower and bioproducts.

The report findings show that under a base-case scenario, the United States could increase its use of dry biomass resources from a current 400 million tons to 1.57 billion tons under a high-yield scenario.

Increasing production and use of biofuel, biopower and bioproducts would substantially decrease greenhouse gas emissions in the utility and transportation sectors and reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil as the domestic bioeconomy grows.

The analysis was led by ORNL with contributions from 65 experts from federal agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration, as well as national laboratories (Idaho National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), and universities (the University of Tennessee, North Carolina State University, South Dakota State University and Oregon State University), as well as private companies (Energetics, Inc. and Allegheny Science and Technology).

New to the 2016 report are assessments of potential biomass supplies from algae, from new energy crops (miscanthus, energy cane, eucalyptus), and from municipal solid waste. For the first time, the report also considers how the cost of pre-processing and transporting biomass to the biorefinery may impact feedstock availability.

Interactive tools available through the Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework allow users to visualize biomass availability scenarios and tailor the data by factors such as geographic area, biomass source and price. Researchers and decision makers can use these features to better inform national bioenergy policies and research, development and deployment strategies. Each diagram and map in the report is available in an interactive interface on the Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework.

The 2016 Billion-Ton Report, volume 1, updates and expands upon analysis in the 2011 U.S. Billion-Ton Update, which was preceded by the 2005 U.S. Billion Ton Study. The report uses scientific modeling systems to project biomass resource availability under specified economic and sustainability constraints.

Volume 2 of the report is set for release later this year, and will consist of a collection of analyses on the potential environmental sustainability effects of a subset of agricultural and forestry biomass production scenarios presented in volume 1. Volume 2 will also discuss algae sustainability, land use and land management changes, and strategies to enhance environmental sustainability.

On July 21, DOE's Bioenergy Technologies Office will host a joint webinar with Oak Ridge National Laboratory staff to further discuss and answer questions regarding the 2016 Billion-Ton Report volume 1 results, scenarios, assumptions and constraints.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE's Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.
-end-
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnhIfFYNFrs

Caption: ORNL researcher Matt Langholtz discusses resource analyses in the 2016 Billion-Ton Report that can inform strategic decisions about building a thriving bioeconomy by 2040.

NOTE TO EDITORS: You may read other press releases from Oak Ridge National Laboratory or learn more about the lab at http://www.ornl.gov/news. Additional information about ORNL is available at the sites below:

Twitter - http://twitter.com/ornl

RSS Feeds - http://www.ornl.gov/ornlhome/rss_feeds.shtml

Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/oakridgelab

YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/OakRidgeNationalLab

LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/companies/oak-ridge-national-laboratory

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/Oak.Ridge.National.Laboratory

DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Related Biomass Articles:

Upgrading biomass with selective surface-modified catalysts
Loading single platinum atoms on titanium dioxide promotes the conversion of a plant derivative into a potential biofuel.
A novel biofuel system for hydrogen production from biomass
A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has presented a new biofuel system that uses lignin found in biomass for the production of hydrogen.
Biomass fuels can significantly mitigate global warming
'Every crop we tested had a very significant mitigation capacity despite being grown on very different soils and under natural climate variability,' says Dr.
Traditional biomass stoves shown to cause lung inflammation
Traditional stoves that burn biomass materials and are not properly ventilated, which are widely used in developing nations where cooking is done indoors, have been shown to significantly increase indoor levels of harmful PM2.5 (miniscule atmospheric particulates) and carbon monoxide (CO) and to stimulate biological processes that cause lung inflammation and may lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to new research published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.
Biotech breakthrough turns waste biomass into high value chemicals
A move towards a more sustainable bio-based economy has been given a new boost by researchers who have been able to simplify a process to transform waste materials into high value chemicals.
How preprocessing methods affect the conversion efficiency of biomass energy production
Research on energy production from biomass usually focuses on the amount of energy generated.
Supercomputing improves biomass fuel conversion
Pretreating plant biomass with THF-water causes lignin globules on the cellulose surface to expand and break away from one another and the cellulose fibers.
Whole-tree harvesting could boost biomass production
Making the shift to renewable energy sources requires biomass, too.
Left out to dry: A more efficient way to harvest algae biomass
Researchers at the University of Tsukuba develop a new system for evaporating the water from algae biomass with reusable nanoporous graphene, which can lead to cheaper, more environmentally friendly biofuels and fine chemicals.
Symbiotic upcycling: Turning 'low value' compounds into biomass
Kentron, a bacterial symbiont of ciliates, turns cellular waste products into biomass.
More Biomass News and Biomass Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Processing The Pandemic
Between the pandemic and America's reckoning with racism and police brutality, many of us are anxious, angry, and depressed. This hour, TED Fellow and writer Laurel Braitman helps us process it all.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#568 Poker Face Psychology
Anyone who's seen pop culture depictions of poker might think statistics and math is the only way to get ahead. But no, there's psychology too. Author Maria Konnikova took her Ph.D. in psychology to the poker table, and turned out to be good. So good, she went pro in poker, and learned all about her own biases on the way. We're talking about her new book "The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win".
Now Playing: Radiolab

Invisible Allies
As scientists have been scrambling to find new and better ways to treat covid-19, they've come across some unexpected allies. Invisible and primordial, these protectors have been with us all along. And they just might help us to better weather this viral storm. To kick things off, we travel through time from a homeless shelter to a military hospital, pondering the pandemic-fighting power of the sun. And then, we dive deep into the periodic table to look at how a simple element might actually be a microbe's biggest foe. This episode was reported by Simon Adler and Molly Webster, and produced by Annie McEwen and Pat Walters. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.