TABLE 3.1 Estimated Costs of Different Fuel Products With and Without a CO2-Equivalent (CO2-eq) Price of $50 per Tonne

Fuel Product

Cost Without CO2-eq Price ($/bbl gasoline equivalent)

Cost With a CO2-eq Price of $50 per Tonne ($/bbl gasoline equivalent)

Gasoline at crude price of $60/bbl

75

95

Gasoline at crude price of $100/bbl

115

135

Cellulosic ethanol

115

110

Biomass-to-liquids without CCS

140

130

Biomass-to-liquids with CCS

150

115

Coal-to-liquids without CCS

65

120

Coal-to-liquids with CCS

70

90

Coal-and-biomass-to-liquids without CCS

95

120

Coal-and-biomass-to-liquids with CCS

110

100

Note: The numbers in this table are rounded to the nearest $5. Estimated costs of fuel products for coal-to-liquids conversion represent the mean costs of products from Fischer-Tropsch and methanol-to-gasoline conversion processes.

without geologic CO2 storage using a consistent set of assumptions (shown in Table 3.A.1 at the end of this chapter). Although those estimates do not represent predictions of future prices, they allow comparisons of fuel costs relative to each other. As shown in Table 3.1, coal-to-liquid fuels with CCS can be produced at a cost of $70/bbl of gasoline equivalent and thus are competitive with $75/bbl gasoline. In contrast, the costs of fuels produced from biomass without geologic CO2 storage are $115/bbl of gasoline equivalent for cellulosic ethanol produced by biochemical conversion and $140/bbl for biomass-to-liquid fuels produced by thermochemical conversion. The costs of cellulosic ethanol, and coal-and-biomass-to-liquid fuels with CCS, become more attractive if a CO2 price of $50 per tonne is included.

Attaining supplies of 1.7 million bbl/d of biofuels, 2.5 bbl/d of coal-and-biomass-to-liquid fuels, or 3 million bbl/d of coal-to-liquid fuels will require the permitting and construction of tens to hundreds of conversion plants, together with the associated fuel transportation and delivery infrastructure. Given the magnitude of U.S. liquid-fuel consumption (14 million barrels of crude oil per day in the transportation sector in 2007) and the scale of current petroleum imports (about 56 percent of the petroleum used in the United States in 2008 was imported), a business-as-usual approach for deploying these technologies would be



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement