An Integrated Sustainability Evaluation of Indirect Liquefaction of Biomass to Liquid Fuels

Eric Tan, Mary Biddy

Research output: NRELPresentation


Developing a more sustainable biofuel production process holds the key for displacing fossil fuels with biofuels for sustainable greenhouse gas emissions and natural resource consumption mitigation. A holistic sustainability analysis for the production of biofuel plays a critical role on the improvement of the overall life cycle sustainability. Once a conceptual conversion process is developed, the next step is to evaluate its overall sustainability, preferably based on a process sustainability evaluation methodology using various indicators. The EPA's GREENSCOPE methodology evaluates processes in four areas: environment, energy, economics, and efficiency. The method develops relative scores for indicators that allow comparisons across various technologies. In this study, we have implemented GREENSCOPE methodology for a sustainability performance assessment of NREL's indirect liquefaction of biomass to high-octane gasoline blendstock by evaluating a range of metrics beyond the typical minimum fuel selling price and greenhouse gas considerations. We applied this methodology to evaluate the sustainability performance of this gate-to-gate conceptual design. One outcome of the sustainability evaluation is to allow researchers to identify process areas in need of sustainability improvement, as well as the challenges and opportunities for achieving the best possible sustainability target.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NamePresented at the 7th International Congress on Sustainability Science & Engineering (ICOSSE '18), 12-15 August 2018, Cincinnati, Ohio

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5100-72371


  • biomass
  • chemicals production
  • economic impacts
  • market analysis


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