(649b) An Environmentally Friendly Novel Route for the Transportation Fuel

Singh, N. R. - Presenter, Purdue University
Ribeiro, F. H. - Presenter, Purdue University
Delgass, W. N. - Presenter, Purdue University

We propose novel partnership (H2CAR*) between biomass and carbon-free energy sources as a promising and sustainable means to propel the entire transportation sector with liquid hydrocarbon fuel for the foreseeable future. We elucidate one such partnership through a hybrid carbon-hydrogen economy where the bioenergy crop is used in conjunction with H2 from solar or nuclear energy. No carbon atoms are released to the atmosphere during transformation of the biomass, and our model calculations show that for the same quantity of liquid fuel produced, the proposed H2CAR process with the current processing conditions requires less than one-third the land area to grow the biomass as compared to the case where biomass is the sole energy source! While the literature estimates known processes to be able to produce about 30% of the US transportation fuel from the annual sustainable biomass quantity of 1.366 billion tons, the H2CAR process shows the potential to supply the entire US transportation sector from that quantity of biomass. What is most interesting is that we have a pathway that has the potential to be implemented using existing technology while effecting H2 storage in very high energy density fuel.

* H2CAR process is trademarked by Purdue University.

Reference: ?Sustainable fuel for the transportation sector,? Rakesh Agrawal, Navneet R Singh, Fabio H. Ribeiro & W. Nicholas Delgass. PNAS, 104 (12), 4828-4833 (2007). http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/104/12/4828