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Title: Biological research survey for the efficient conversion of biomass to biofuels.

Abstract

The purpose of this four-week late start LDRD was to assess the current status of science and technology with regard to the production of biofuels. The main focus was on production of biodiesel from nonpetroleum sources, mainly vegetable oils and algae, and production of bioethanol from lignocellulosic biomass. One goal was to assess the major technological hurdles for economic production of biofuels for these two approaches. Another goal was to compare the challenges and potential benefits of the two approaches. A third goal was to determine areas of research where Sandia's unique technical capabilities can have a particularly strong impact in these technologies.

Authors:
;  [1]
  1. (Computational Biosciences)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Laboratories
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
900852
Report Number(s):
SAND2006-7221
TRN: US200711%%615
DOE Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; ALGAE; BIOFUELS; BIOMASS; ECONOMICS; PRODUCTION; VEGETABLE OILS; Biomass conversion.; Biomass energy.; Environmental Sciences-Biomass Energy & Biofuels

Citation Formats

Kent, Michael Stuart, and Andrews, Katherine M. Biological research survey for the efficient conversion of biomass to biofuels.. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/900852.
Kent, Michael Stuart, & Andrews, Katherine M. Biological research survey for the efficient conversion of biomass to biofuels.. United States. doi:10.2172/900852.
Kent, Michael Stuart, and Andrews, Katherine M. Mon . "Biological research survey for the efficient conversion of biomass to biofuels.". United States. doi:10.2172/900852. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/900852.
@article{osti_900852,
title = {Biological research survey for the efficient conversion of biomass to biofuels.},
author = {Kent, Michael Stuart and Andrews, Katherine M.},
abstractNote = {The purpose of this four-week late start LDRD was to assess the current status of science and technology with regard to the production of biofuels. The main focus was on production of biodiesel from nonpetroleum sources, mainly vegetable oils and algae, and production of bioethanol from lignocellulosic biomass. One goal was to assess the major technological hurdles for economic production of biofuels for these two approaches. Another goal was to compare the challenges and potential benefits of the two approaches. A third goal was to determine areas of research where Sandia's unique technical capabilities can have a particularly strong impact in these technologies.},
doi = {10.2172/900852},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Beginning in 2013, NREL began transitioning from the singular focus on ethanol to a broad slate of products and conversion pathways, ultimately to establish similar benchmarking and targeting efforts. One of these pathways is the conversion of algal biomass to fuels via extraction of lipids (and potentially other components), termed the 'algal lipid upgrading' or ALU pathway. This report describes in detail one potential ALU approach based on a biochemical processing strategy to selectively recover and convert select algal biomass components to fuels, namely carbohydrates to ethanol and lipids to a renewable diesel blendstock (RDB) product. The overarching process designmore » converts algal biomass delivered from upstream cultivation and dewatering (outside the present scope) to ethanol, RDB, and minor coproducts, using dilute-acid pretreatment, fermentation, lipid extraction, and hydrotreating.« less
  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) promotes the production of a range of liquid fuels and fuel blendstocks from biomass feedstocks by funding fundamental and applied research that advances the state of technology in biomass production, conversion, and sustainability. As part of its involvement in this program, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) investigates the conceptual production economics of these fuels. This includes fuel pathways from lignocellulosic (terrestrial) biomass, as well as from algal (aquatic) biomass systems.
  • Biomass crops are converted to fuels via biochemical and thermochemical processes. The process preferred depends on properties and cost of available feedstocks, and on the specific products desired. Since most mature biomass crops are composed of up to 80% cell wall fibers, the properties of these fibers determine, to a large degree, the conversion potential of the crop. However, biomass crops also contain small amounts of proteins, soluble carbohydrates and interfering materials (e.g., tannins and silica) which also influence the desirability of the feedstock in specific conversion processes. Fortunately, wide variation exists in the chemical composition of potential biomass crops.more » Although the chemical composition of feedstocks can be influenced significantly with judicious management has species selection, some traits are sufficiently heritable to permit breeding for improved feedstock composition. In addition to breeding for specific compositional traits directly, selection for in vitro digestibility or for easily-measured canopy or physiological traits may lead to more rapid and efficient progress in feedstock improvement, provided those measurements are highly-correlated with desirable feedstock composition. At the same time breeders must improve, or at least avoid damaging, stand longevity, tendency of plants to lodge, and establishment traits (e.g., disease resistance and seedling vigor). 46 refs., 8 tabs.« less
  • This report describes one potential conversion process to hydrocarbon products by way of biological conversion of lingnocellulosic-dervied sugars. The process design converts biomass to a hydrocarbon intermediate, a free fatty acid, using dilute-acid pretreatement, enzymatic saccharification, and bioconversion. Ancillary areas--feed handling, hydrolysate conditioning, product recovery and upgrading (hydrotreating) to a final blendstock material, wastewater treatment, lignin combusion, and utilities--are also included in the design.