• Biomass-to-liquid fuels by thermochemical conversion—The estimated 550 million tons of dry biomass can be converted by thermochemical conversion to up to about 30 billion gallons of synthetic gasoline and diesel at an estimated cost of about $140/bbl of gasoline equivalent. The CO2 life-cycle emission will be close to zero without CCS.

  • Biomass-to-liquid fuels by biochemical conversion—The estimated 550 million tons of dry biomass can be converted by biochemical conversion to up to about 45 billion gallons of ethanol (equivalent on an energy basis to about 30 billion gallons of gasoline), at about $115/bbl of gasoline equivalent. The CO2 life-cycle emission will be close to zero.

  • Coal-and-biomass-to-liquid fuels by thermochemical conversion—The estimated 550 million tons of biomass can be combined with coal at a ratio of 40:60 (on an energy basis) to produce up to 60 billion gallons of liquid fuels per year on a gasoline-equivalent basis by thermochemical conversion at an average estimated cost of about $95/bbl gasoline equivalent without CCS and $110/bbl of gasoline equivalent with CCS. The CO2 life-cycle emissions of the fuels produced without CCS would be comparable with those of petroleum-based fuels without CCS and zero or slightly negative with CCS.

Although alternative liquid fuel technology can be deployable and supply a substantial volume of clean fuels for U.S. transportation at a reasonable cost, it will take more than a decade for the fuels to reach full market penetration. The supply of 30–60 billion gallons of clean fuels per year will require the design, permitting, and construction of hundreds of conversion plants and associated fuel transportation and delivery infrastructure.


Recommendation 7.1


Detailed scenarios of market penetration rates of biofuels, coal-to-liquid fuels, and associated biomass and coal supply options should be developed to clarify hurdles and challenges to achieving substantial effects on U.S. oil use and CO2emissions. The analysis will provide policy makers and business leaders with the information needed to establish enduring policies and investment plans for accelerating the development and penetration of alternative-fuels technologies.

In thermochemical conversion of coal or combined coal and biomass to produce transportation fuels, CCS is critical for reducing CO2 emission. The $10–15



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