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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOGEOCHEMICAL PROCESSES INFLUENCING FORMATION AND STABILIZATION OF SOIL ORGANIC MATTER AND SOIL STRUCTURE Title: Feedstock and conversion interactions – identifying industry needs

Author
item Karlen, Douglas

Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society Proceedings
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2011
Publication Date: October 1, 2011
Citation: Karlen, D.L. 2011. Feedstock and conversion interactions – identifying industry needs. In: Braun, R.B., Karlen, D.L., and Johnson, D., editors. Proc. of Sustainable Feedstocks for Advanced Biofuels: A workshop to create regionally specific roadmaps for feedstock supply chains. Atlanta, GA. Soil and Water Conservation Society Proceedings. p. 31-35.

Technical Abstract: A primary goal for the Sustainable Feedstocks for Advanced Biofuels workshop was to actively involve biofuel industry representatives in all phases of planning, presenting, and discussing what is needed to ensure the U.S. has sustainable feedstock supplies for bioenergy production. The objective for this chapter was to learn from industry representatives what they consider is needed to achieve sustainable feedstock supplies and if the conversion platform will influence those requirements. An important lesson learned was that as biomass proceeds from a specific type of plant material or feedstock to a specific type of fuel (e.g. ethanol, butanol, biodiesel, or jet fuel) the ultimate economic value of both the feedstock and proprietary processing operations becomes increasingly business sensitive. A second lesson was that there will be and in fact has to be, multiple feedstock materials. Those two lessons confirmed that the biofuels industry has a lot of research needs and unanswered questions. A very important research and policy needs is for a standardized, government-accepted, and non-changing carbon intensity protocol that could be applied by feedstock, region, and agronomic practice when making life-cycle analyses for the various proprietary business decisions that industries are facing. Another was for an agreed upon protocol that could be used to calculate the realistic costs of feedstock production. After these points were presented to Workshop participants, a facilitated discussion was conducted to further elaborate on industry concerns for the research and education communities. The essence of those discussions provided important input for regional teams preparing the roadmaps associated with this workshop and are summarized in this chapter.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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