Sustainable Biofuel Contributions to Carbon Mitigation and Energy Independence

Bruce Lippke, Richard Gustafson, Richard Venditti, Timothy Volk, Elaine Oneil, Leonard Johnson, Maureen Puettmann, Phillip Steele
2011 Forests  
The growing interest in US biofuels has been motivated by two primary national policy goals, (1) to reduce carbon emissions and (2) to achieve energy independence. However, the current low cost of fossil fuels is a key barrier to investments in woody biofuel production capacity. The effectiveness of wood derived biofuels must consider not only the feedstock competition with low cost fossil fuels but also the wide range of wood products uses that displace different fossil intensive products.
more » ... rnative uses of wood result in substantially different unit processes and carbon impacts over product life cycles. We developed life cycle data for new bioprocessing and feedstock collection models in OPEN ACCESS Forests 2011, 2 862 order to make life cycle comparisons of effectiveness when biofuels displace gasoline and wood products displace fossil intensive building materials. Wood products and biofuels can be joint products from the same forestland. Substantial differences in effectiveness measures are revealed as well as difficulties in valuing tradeoffs between carbon mitigation and energy independence.
doi:10.3390/f2040861 fatcat:nsnsepm74nhjnjwggwc4wlsobm