Renewable Alternative Fuels: Alcohol Production from Lignocellulosic Biomass

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    16 Scopus Citations


    Advances in renewable alternative biomass-based fuel technologies make their commercialization likely within a decade. Substituting fuels derived from biomass for fossil fuels can reduce dependence on petroleum use, improve air quality, mitigate global warming, and strengthen a weak farm economy. Implementation of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 increased the oxygenate content in gasoline, providing greater market opportunities for alcohols-as direct blends and to produce ethers such as ETBE and MTBE. Alcohol production from lignocellulosic biomass is promising, leading to renewable, alternative transportation fuels that are projected to be competitive as pure fuels with fuels derived from petroleum at $20-$25/bbl ($0.13-$0.16/liter) within the next 5 to 10 years. However, the timeframe for deployment depends not only on the development of technologies, but also on the active involvement of appropriate industries. Industrial partnerships have been formed, and commercialization strategy is well under way; process development units at the pilot scale are both operating and under construction in the United States. Alliances between industry and the government include agreements to proceed with scale-up to engineering development units and eventually to commercial-scale plants.

    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages8
    StatePublished - Aug 1994
    EventRenewable Energy: 3rd World Renewable Energy Congress - Reading, United Kingdom
    Duration: 11 Sep 199416 Sep 1994


    ConferenceRenewable Energy: 3rd World Renewable Energy Congress
    CityReading, United Kingdom

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-200-6179


    • alcohol production
    • alternative fuels
    • biomass energy
    • lignocellulose
    • Renewable fuels


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