NREL: Transportation Research - Discovering Drop-In Biofuels to Leverage Petroleum Refineries
Discovering Drop-In Biofuels to Leverage Petroleum Refineries March 19, 2015 Biomass is 40%–60% oxygen, and its high level of oxygen makes producing fully hydrocarbon fuels technically challenging. A study is determining which biomass-derived oxygenates are most commercially feasible in drop-in fuels that are compatible with existing engines and fuel distribution. Biomass feedstocks such as crop residues and algae are available on a scale that other renewable fuels cannot begin to match. There is enough domestic feedstock to potentially supply 30-45 billion gallons of fuel, which would lessen the country's dependence on petroleum and reduce greenhouse gases. Yet, while biofuels seem an appealing choice over conventional fuels, the challenge is to produce them in a way that, rather than requiring new infrastructure and vehicles, is compatible with existing pipelines, blendi...