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International Biofuels Strategy Project. Liquid Transport Biofuels - Technology Status Report, NNFCC 08-017

This detailed one hundred and thirty-three page report takes a comprehensive look at the advantages and disadvantages of different biofuels technologies with discussion of comparative economics, timescales, scales of operation, greenhouse gas savings and land use effectiveness.

Author Dr Geraint Evans, NNFCC
Published 14 Apr 2008
Industry Biofuels
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Summary

In the UK, FAME biodiesel production is developing while first generation ethanol production is emerging. However, the industry is threatened by a number of issues including 'splash and dash' and sustainability issues which are affecting investor confidence.

Synthetic fuels (diesel for road transport and jet fuel for aviation) produced via the thermochemical biomass to liquids (BtL) route provide the most suitable fuel blendstocks for incorporation into the UK general transport fuel pool and, of the near term biofuel technologies, one of the highest greenhouse gas reduction potentials. Capital cost, is a significant barrier to the development of UK production facilities.

The BtL route produces a paraffinic naphtha which, when cracked, maximises the production of ethylene and propylene streams, which are further processed to make renewable polyethylene and polypropylene.

Lignocellulosic ethanol production via fermentation is about to be demonstrated in the UK, the USA and Denmark. The UK developers, are likely to commercially develop the process in the USA where financial assistance is available from the US government.

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