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Title: Estimation of economic impacts of cellulosic biofuel production: a comparative analysis of three biofuel pathways: Economic impacts of biofuel production

Abstract

The development of a cellulosic biofuel industry utilizing domestic biomass resources is expected to create opportunities for economic growth resulting from the construction and operation of new biorefineries. We applied an economic input-output model to estimate potential economic impacts, particularly gross job growth, resulting from the construction and operation of biorefineries using three different technology pathways: 1) cellulosic ethanol via biochemical conversion in Iowa, 2) renewable diesel blendstock via biological conversion in Georgia, and 3) renewable diesel and gasoline blendstock via fast pyrolysis in Mississippi. Combining direct, indirect, and induced effects, capital investment associated with the construction of a biorefinery processing 2,000 dry metric tons of biomass per day (DMT/day) could yield between 5,960 and 8,470 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs during the construction period. Fast pyrolysis biorefineries produce the most jobs on a project level thanks to the highest capital requirement among the three pathways. Normalized for one million dollars of capital investment, the fast pyrolysis biorefineries are estimated to yield slighter more jobs (12.1 jobs) than the renewable diesel (11.8 jobs) and the cellulosic ethanol (11.6 jobs) biorefineries. While operating biorefineries is not labor-intensive, the annual operation of a 2,000 DMT/day biorefinery could support between 720 and 970 jobsmore » when the direct, indirect, and induced effects are considered. The major factor, which results in the variations among the three pathways, is the type of biomass feedstock used for biofuels. The agriculture/forest, services, and trade industries are the primary sectors that will benefit from the ongoing operation of biorefineries.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [3]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden CO USA
  2. MRG & Associates, Nevada City CA USA
  3. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1254596
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-116297
Journal ID: ISSN 1932-104X; BM0101010
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining; Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 3
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Biofuels; Biomass; Biorefineries; Cellulosic; Economics

Citation Formats

Zhang, Yimin, Goldberg, Marshall, Tan, Eric, and Meyer, Pimphan Aye. Estimation of economic impacts of cellulosic biofuel production: a comparative analysis of three biofuel pathways: Economic impacts of biofuel production. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1002/bbb.1637.
Zhang, Yimin, Goldberg, Marshall, Tan, Eric, & Meyer, Pimphan Aye. Estimation of economic impacts of cellulosic biofuel production: a comparative analysis of three biofuel pathways: Economic impacts of biofuel production. United States. doi:10.1002/bbb.1637.
Zhang, Yimin, Goldberg, Marshall, Tan, Eric, and Meyer, Pimphan Aye. 2016. "Estimation of economic impacts of cellulosic biofuel production: a comparative analysis of three biofuel pathways: Economic impacts of biofuel production". United States. doi:10.1002/bbb.1637.
@article{osti_1254596,
title = {Estimation of economic impacts of cellulosic biofuel production: a comparative analysis of three biofuel pathways: Economic impacts of biofuel production},
author = {Zhang, Yimin and Goldberg, Marshall and Tan, Eric and Meyer, Pimphan Aye},
abstractNote = {The development of a cellulosic biofuel industry utilizing domestic biomass resources is expected to create opportunities for economic growth resulting from the construction and operation of new biorefineries. We applied an economic input-output model to estimate potential economic impacts, particularly gross job growth, resulting from the construction and operation of biorefineries using three different technology pathways: 1) cellulosic ethanol via biochemical conversion in Iowa, 2) renewable diesel blendstock via biological conversion in Georgia, and 3) renewable diesel and gasoline blendstock via fast pyrolysis in Mississippi. Combining direct, indirect, and induced effects, capital investment associated with the construction of a biorefinery processing 2,000 dry metric tons of biomass per day (DMT/day) could yield between 5,960 and 8,470 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs during the construction period. Fast pyrolysis biorefineries produce the most jobs on a project level thanks to the highest capital requirement among the three pathways. Normalized for one million dollars of capital investment, the fast pyrolysis biorefineries are estimated to yield slighter more jobs (12.1 jobs) than the renewable diesel (11.8 jobs) and the cellulosic ethanol (11.6 jobs) biorefineries. While operating biorefineries is not labor-intensive, the annual operation of a 2,000 DMT/day biorefinery could support between 720 and 970 jobs when the direct, indirect, and induced effects are considered. The major factor, which results in the variations among the three pathways, is the type of biomass feedstock used for biofuels. The agriculture/forest, services, and trade industries are the primary sectors that will benefit from the ongoing operation of biorefineries.},
doi = {10.1002/bbb.1637},
journal = {Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining},
number = 3,
volume = 10,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 3
}
  • The development of a cellulosic biofuel industry utilizing domestic biomass resources is expected to create opportunities for economic growth resulting from the construction and operation of new biorefineries. We applied an economic input-output model to estimate potential economic impacts, particularly gross job growth, resulting from the construction and operation of biorefineries using three different technology pathways: (i) cellulosic ethanol via biochemical conversion in Iowa, (ii) renewable diesel blendstock via biological conversion in Georgia, and (iii) renewable diesel and gasoline blendstock via fast pyrolysis in Mississippi. Combining direct, indirect (revenue- and supply-chain-related), and induced effects, capital investment associated with the constructionmore » of a biorefinery processing 2000 dry metric tons of biomass per day (DMT/day) could yield between 5960 and 8470 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs during the construction period, depending on the biofuel pathways. Fast pyrolysis biorefineries produce the most jobs on a project level thanks to the highest capital requirement among the three pathways. Normalized on the scale of $1 million of capital investment, the fast pyrolysis biorefineries are estimated to yield slighter higher numbers of jobs (12.1 jobs) than the renewable diesel (11.8 jobs) and the cellulosic ethanol (11.6 jobs) biorefineries. While operating biorefineries is not labor-intensive, the annual operation of a 2000 DMT/day biorefinery could support between 720 and 970 jobs when the direct, indirect, and induced effects are considered. The major factor, which results in the variations among the three pathways, is the type of biomass feedstock used for biofuels. Unlike construction jobs, these operation-related jobs are necessary over the entire life of the biorefineries. In conclusion, our results show that indirect effects stimulated by the operation of biorefineries are the primary contributor to job growth. The agriculture/forest, services, and trade industries are the primary sectors that will benefit from the ongoing operation of biorefineries.« less
  • This paper presents a comparative techno-economic analysis (TEA) of five conversion pathways from biomass to gasoline-, jet-, and diesel-range hydrocarbons via indirect liquefaction with specific focus on pathways utilizing oxygenated intermediates. The four emerging pathways of interest are compared with one conventional pathway (Fischer-Tropsch) for the production of the hydrocarbon blendstocks. The processing steps of the four emerging pathways include: biomass to syngas via indirect gasification, gas cleanup, conversion of syngas to alcohols/oxygenates followed by conversion of alcohols/oxygenates to hydrocarbon blendstocks via dehydration, oligomerization, and hydrogenation. Conversion of biomass-derived syngas to oxygenated intermediates occurs via three different pathways, producing: 1)more » mixed alcohols over a MoS2 catalyst, 2) mixed oxygenates (a mixture of C2+ oxygenated compounds, predominantly ethanol, acetic acid, acetaldehyde, ethyl acetate) using an Rh-based catalyst, and 3) ethanol from syngas fermentation. This is followed by the conversion of oxygenates/alcohols to fuel-range olefins in two approaches: 1) mixed alcohols/ethanol to 1-butanol rich mixture via Guerbet reaction, followed by alcohol dehydration, oligomerization, and hydrogenation, and 2) mixed oxygenates/ethanol to isobutene rich mixture and followed by oligomerization and hydrogenation. The design features a processing capacity of 2,000 tonnes/day (2,205 short tons) of dry biomass. The minimum fuel selling prices (MFSPs) for the four developing pathways range from $3.40 to $5.04 per gasoline-gallon equivalent (GGE), in 2011 US dollars. Sensitivity studies show that MFSPs can be improved with co-product credits and are comparable to the commercial Fischer-Tropsch benchmark ($3.58/GGE). Overall, this comparative TEA study documents potential economics for the developmental biofuel pathways via mixed oxygenates.« less
  • This paper presents a comparative techno-economic analysis (TEA) of five conversion pathways from biomass to gasoline-, jet-, and diesel-range hydrocarbons via indirect liquefaction with a specific focus on pathways utilizing oxygenated intermediates. The four emerging pathways of interest are compared with one conventional pathway (Fischer-Tropsch) for the production of the hydrocarbon blendstocks. The processing steps of the four emerging pathways include biomass-to-syngas via indirect gasification, syngas clean-up, conversion of syngas to alcohols/oxygenates followed by conversion of alcohols/oxygenates to hydrocarbon blendstocks via dehydration, oligomerization, and hydrogenation. Conversion of biomass-derived syngas to oxygenated intermediates occurs via three different pathways, producing: (i) mixedmore » alcohols over a MoS 2 catalyst, (ii) mixed oxygenates (a mixture of C 2+ oxygenated compounds, predominantly ethanol, acetic acid, acetaldehyde, ethyl acetate) using an Rh-based catalyst, and (iii) ethanol from syngas fermentation. This is followed by the conversion of oxygenates/alcohols to fuel-range olefins in two approaches: (i) mixed alcohols/ethanol to 1-butanol rich mixture via Guerbet reaction, followed by alcohol dehydration, oligomerization, and hydrogenation, and (ii) mixed oxygenates/ethanol to isobutene rich mixture and followed by oligomerization and hydrogenation. The design features a processing capacity of 2000 tonnes/day (2205 short tons) of dry biomass. The minimum fuel selling prices (MFSPs) for the four developing pathways range from 3.40 dollars to 5.04 dollars per gasoline-gallon equivalent (GGE), in 2011 US dollars. Sensitivity studies show that MFSPs can be improved with co-product credits and are comparable to the commercial Fischer-Tropsch benchmark ($3.58/GGE). Altogether, this comparative TEA study documents potential economics for the developmental biofuel pathways via mixed oxygenates.« less