Biomass is a renewable energy resource derived from waste. It comes from both human and natural activities and uses by-products from the timber industry, agricultural crops, raw material from forests, household wastes, and wood. Like wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy, biomass produces fewer emissions than its fossil fuel counterparts. After fossil fuels, biomass is the most widely used fuel in the world.
A principal advantage of biomass is its low greenhouse gas emission characteristic. Biomass does not spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as it absorbs an equal amount of carbon in growing as it releases when consumed as a fuel. Biomass contains less sulfur than coal, and consequently produces less SO2. It can be used to generate electricity utilizing the same equipment that is used to combust fossil fuels, and its use cuts down on the need for landfills, has a positive impact on watershed quality, retards the risk of wildfires by thinning forests, and generates jobs in the local economy.
Biofuels are renewable fuels that are predominantly produced from domestically produced biomass feed stocks or as a by product from the industrial processing of agricultural or food products, or from the recovery and reprocessing of products such as cooking and vegetable oil. Biofuel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum fuel to create a biofuel blend. It can be used in conventional healing equipment or diesel engine with no major modification. Biofuel is simple to use, biodegradable, non-toxic and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. Ethanol and biodiesel are the most widely recognized biofuel sources for transport sector.
Feedstocks used to produce biofuels include corn (the predominant feedstock in the U.S.), sugarcane or sugar beets (common in Europe), various grains, rapeseed or oil seed, soybeans, as well as other bio-sources found throughout the world. Biofuels exhibit a wide range of physical, chemical, and agricultural/process engineering properties. Moisture content is probably the most important determinant of energy value. Despite the wide range of possible sources, biomass feedstocks are remarkably uniform in many of their fuel properties, compared with coal or petroleum.
Biomass can be converted into various types of fuels and used in numerous applications. Two types of ethanol are produced in the United States: fermentation ethanol and synthetic ethanol. In addition, biodiesel, bio-oil, and biofuel from synthetic gas are produced commercially.
Grains and oilseeds are the primary feedstocks used to produce the ethanol, biodiesel, and bioproducts consumed today. Food and feed processing residues and tertiary post-consumer residues are also used to generate a modest amount of electricity. These agriculture-derived biomass resources account for nearly 25% of the current biomass consumption.
Liquid biofuels made from biomass are attracting increasing interest worldwide. Industrial countries see biofuels as a way of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector and diversifying energy sources. Developing countries see biofuels as a way to stimulate rural development, create jobs, and save foreign exchange. Both groups view biofuels as a means of increasing energy security. These concerns, taken together and highlighted by recent surges in the world oil price, have prompted a wide range of countries to consider biofuels programs. Canada, Colombia, the European Union (EU), India, Thailand, and the United States have adopted new targets, some mandatory, for increasing the contribution of biofuels to their transport fuel supplies. In Brazil, after a period of a decline in ethanol consumption, flex-fuel vehicles – capable of running on varying percentages of ethanol – are revitalizing the ethanol market.
It is becoming increasingly clear that reliance on oil as the principal source of fuel is unsustainable over the long-term. A shift towards any alternative fuel is going to require a governmental commitment to emerging technologies. In addition, integrating alternative fuels into the mass market will have broad impacts on existing policies.
This report on the Biomass to Biofuels Market Potential is a complete guide to help assess the feasibility of domestic and international production of biofuels. It examines the role of government in the biofuel industry, as well as the growth drivers and obstacles to be overcome. It details various conversion technologies and presents a comprehensive overview of the economics of the biofuels industry. The report also describes major biofuel programs underway and lists key players.
This 249-page report includes a seperate Directory of Manufacturers in the industry including contact information.
- Introduction to Biomass
- Introduction to Biofuels
- What are Biofuels?
- Historical Background
- Examples of Biofuels
- Advantages & Disadvantages of Biofuels
- Current Markets
- Growth Drivers
- Barriers and Challenges
- Market Liberalization
- Market Potential
- Biomass as a Fuel Alternative
- Overview of Energy Market
- Need for Biomass Fuel
- Biomass Composition and Energy Content
- Types of Biomass Fuel
- Feedstock for Biomass Fuel
- Industry Outlook
- Impact on Emissions and Vehicle Performance
- Environmental Impact of Biomass to Biofuels
- Accounting for Poorly Priced Externalities
- Impact on Engines and Other Vehicle Components
- Lifecycle Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Biomass Conversion Technologies
- Economics of Developing Biofuels
- Economic Analysis of Biofuel Programs
- Agricultural and Trade Policies
- Feedstock Costs
- Processing Costs
- Production Costs
- Co-Product Sales and Use
- Operating Costs
- Retail Prices
- Tax Considerations
- Other Economic Impacts of Biofuel Production
- Cost Trends
- Commercial Viability of Biofuel Industry
- Relation to World Oil Price
- Agricultural Trade Liberalization
- Land-locked Countries
- Surplus Feedstock
- Non-crop Feedstock
- Biofuel Mandate
- Biomass Market Country Overviews
- Latin America
- United States
- Western Europe
- Biofuel Market Country Overviews
- United States
- European Union
- Role of the Government
- Case Studies
- Major Players
- World Energy Alternatives
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Related Reports also available from Research and Markets:
- The Use of Biomass for Power Generation in the U.S. – http://www.researchandmarkets.com/product/ac6ccc/the_use_of_biomass_for_power_generation_in
- Biomass Bulletin – http://www.researchandmarkets.com/product/ac6ccc/biomass_bulletin
- The Biomass Report Ed 2 2007 – http://www.researchandmarkets.com/product/ac6ccc/the_biomass_report_ed_2_2007
- Biofuels Production – Industry Profile – http://www.researchandmarkets.com/product/ac6ccc/biofuels_production_industry_profile
For more information on this report click on: http://www.researchandmarkets.com/product/ac6ccc/biomass_to_biofuels_market_potential_wmanuf
Source: Research and Markets Ltd., Newsletter, 2007-03-26.