Impact of Natural and Human Resources of Ethanol Production from Biomass

Lapillonne, B. (1980). Impact of Natural and Human Resources of Ethanol Production from Biomass. IIASA Collaborative Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: CP-80-014

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The Resources Group at IIASA is concentrating an increasing amount of effort on the WELMM analysis and/or comparison of natural and synthetic liquid fuels, conventional oil, shale oil and syncrude from tar sands, liquid fuels from coal, etc. All these are of fossil origin. But a completely different class of synthetic liquid fuel also deserves attention -- one which is derived from so-called biomass. In this class of primary importance are alcohol and methanol (from wood). Methanol is of particular interest since it can also be produced from coal, and a promising process has been developed (by the Mobil Oil Corporation) to convert methanol to much needed high grade gasoline.

Economic comparisons are relatively difficult since the stages of development of these various liquid fuels are very different -- some are still in the laboratory stage or at the pilot stage, others are very near commercial application or even already commercialized (tar sands). Also, impact on natural resources differs greatly from one type of fuel to another and from one process to another. We therefore decided to use the WELMM method to achieve a better understanding of some of the systems aspects of these liquid fuels.

Various reports and working papers have already been devoted to the topic as far as fossil fuels are concerned.

This paper opens up a new field: biomass liquid fuels. It is based on various studies -- with a different initial objective -- carried out by Bruno Lapillonne and colleagues at the IEJE. I thought it would be interesting to reshape some of the results, or reflections, according to the WELMM format. This paper shows the result of this effort, and although still preliminary is very interesting.

It is a double pleasure for me to introduce the paper, since a few years ago Bruno Lapillonne helped me to pioneer the "WELMM approach".

Finally, the paper is a good and encouraging example of continuation of close cooperation between IIASA scientists -- even long after they have returned to their home institutions.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Collaborative Paper)
Research Programs: Resources and Environment Area (REN)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:48
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:10

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