The carbon footprint of air travel is currently being scrutinized in the news.  Here's a renewable energy angle that probably won't be covered in the mainstream media: 

https://biobasedmaine.org/2019/02/22/renewable-jet-fuel-from-woody-...

According to the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (1990-2016), the transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to U.S anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, at 28%. Of the 28%, aircraft transportation contributes 9% of emissions. Luckily, biobased technology companies have found ways to convert post-harvest forest residuals, or left over woody biomass, into renewable jet fuel. In fact, researchers in Maine are working on technology to make renewable diesel and jet fuel from woody biomass. Nationally, companies have perfected and proven their technology at commercial scale, and their fuel has been deployed on commercial flights.
Researchers at the University of Maine’s Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI) are turning woody biomass, including fallen tree limbs and other wood harvest residuals, into “green” chemical intermediates. From there, the University uses their patented conversion technology to produce small amounts of hydrocarbon fuel oil. In 2017, the University demonstrated the technology in 100 hours of continuous operation.
Leaders in the manufacture of renewable jet fuels from wood include Gevo and Velocys. Gevo is a low carbon chemicals and fuels company which uses the greenhouse gas emissions stored in plants in the form of carbohydrates, to produce renewable jet fuel, gasoline, and other products traditionally made using petroleum and natural gas. To make Gevo’s renewable jet fuel, carbohydrates (which store CO2) from woody biomass are separated from protein and fermented using specially designed yeast to make ethanol, isobutanol, and higher alcohols. The isobutanol is then converted using catalytic processes to produce hydrocarbons, and ultimately the Gevo bio-jet fuel.

In Lakeview, Oregon, Velocys is licensing technology for the Red Rocks Biofuels (LLC) biorefinery, which will produce 15 million gallons per year of renewable fuels. The RRB biorefinery is currently under construction. When operational, Velocys reports that RRB will produce enough jet fuel to power 1,800 round trips per year from Portland, Oregon to San Francisco. Crucial to the success of this project are RRB’s big-brand commercial off-take agreements. Biofuels Digest reported that FedEx and Southwest Airlines joined in an offtake agreement to purchase the total volume of Red Rock’s jet fuel from its first commercial plant.
Velocys uses gasification and Fischer-Tropsch technology to create renewable fuels from forest industry residues and municipal solid waste. And according to Velocys, their fuels yield net greenhouse gas emission reductions of 60% compared to their petroleum derived counterparts.
In Maine, annual harvests of nearly 12 million green tons per year produce forest residues and low-grade pulpwood that seeks new markets. Much of our forest residue that lacks markets could be used to produce renewable jet fuel. In fact, Velocys has indicated that it prefers the type of wood that Maine has available (e.g., softwood) for use in its technology.
So why aren’t we seeing any facilities in Maine to manufacture renewable jet fuel from woody biomass? Part of the reason is because it is still unclear whether Maine’s woody biomass qualifies as “renewable biomass” under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-administered national Renewable Fuel Standard as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (RFS2).
The way the RFS2 is written, it is unclear whether woody biomass harvested from Maine’s naturally-regenerating forests qualify as feedstock eligible to produce biofuels that could receive federal subsidy. The regulations are written to give preference to plantation-grown trees, not trees from naturally-regenerating forests. Without the federal RFS2 subsidy, it will be difficult for Velocys or any other biofuel company to seriously consider Maine’s woody biomass as a feedstock for renewable fuels. Biofuels could still be made, but they would not be cost-effective or able to compete in the market against fuels eligible for the federal subsidy.
Biobased Maine has learned that some forest industry stakeholders in Maine are working on revising the way EPA interprets the RFS2, and we hope this issue gets resolved quickly so that Maine can help speed the transition from fossil-fuel derived aviation fuel to renewable aviation fuel made from sustainably grown and harvested second-generation feedstock.

Views: 68

Reply to This

Forum

How long do brush cutter blades work?

Started by Joanne Vaughn in Woodlot Management on Monday. 0 Replies

I dunno maybe it's because time flies when it's multiflora rose and buckthorns that are getting whacked. It seems that these blades are needing retirement after 8 or so hours.   Is this typical for this type of material. WIde range of material but…Continue

Tags: cutter, brush

Nitrogen fixing bacteria for Alder trees

Started by Joanne Vaughn in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Joanne Vaughn on Friday. 7 Replies

I am thinking of starting some alder trees from seed for planting into an area that does not and has not hosted alders.  How can I gain the nitrogen fixing bacteria for inoculation of the roots ?  Continue

Seeking advice on controlling oriental bittersweet

Started by Kristen Whitbeck in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Lew Ward Apr 15. 2 Replies

A student in my silviculture class is seeking relayed the scenario below. If anyone has any tips or tricks I will gladly pass them along. Thanks in advance!"Oriental bittersweet is choking out my mature white pine trees and my mature apple trees.…Continue

Tags: bittersweet, Oriental

Are Gall's a reason to cull Hickory trees?

Started by Thomas Wilson in Forest Health. Last reply by Ron Goodger Apr 7. 8 Replies

I'll take a photo, but in the meantime....I have a lot of bitternut hickory and some shagbark as well.  I haven't yet noticed any on the shagbark, but about half of the bitternut have gall's.  They get up to about 3 inches in diameter.  Some tree's…Continue

Removal of grass around seedlings in pasture

Started by Joanne Vaughn in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Peter Smallidge Mar 19. 11 Replies

Even after the timely discussion of "green lie" this week, I am still unsure of the best method to eliminate grassy vegetation around the pine, cedar and oak seedlings we are putting in this spring. I feel this is very important because we lost a…Continue

Saving Trees With Tree-Eating Mushrooms

Started by Lew Ward in Forest Health Feb 27. 0 Replies

Saving Trees With Tree-Eating MushroomsControl of Amellaria Shoe-string Rot Fungushttps://youtu.be/FPeBYnGwo4YContinue

Electric Fencing

Started by Carl DuPoldt in Agroforestry Jan 21. 0 Replies

Electric Deer Fence WorkshopLuke Freeman hosted a workshop at the incubator farm in Fayetteville, AR to demonstrate the use of the solar-powered electric deer fence. Luke built the fence with help from Extension specialist Kenny Simon and County…Continue

Beech control with triclopyr versus glyphosate

Started by Peter Smallidge in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Joanne Vaughn Nov 20, 2019. 3 Replies

[I'm pasting from a recent email thread]Question - I'm working on a couple beech regen and mid story control projects.   I have been using Garlon 4 in oil.   Works good, but sometimes I want it to move through the roots and the Garlon doesn't do…Continue

Badge

Loading…

© 2020   Created by Peter Smallidge.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service