(186b) An Integrated Techno-Economic and Life Cycle Analysis of Northeastern Willow Biomass As a Bioenergy Feedstock
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 10:40am to 11:05am
Shrub willow biomass is being examined as a potential cellulosic bioenergy feedstock in the Northeast U.S. under a 3-year USDA Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) project that is being led by faculty at SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry (SUNY ESF). Integrated techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment under uncertainty of willow biomass production for use as a bioenergy feedstock is being conducted as a task under the project. This task has determined that, while willow biomass production is not especially feasible from a financial perspective due to the presence of low fossil energy prices and uncertainty regarding future prices and willow yields, shrub willow can result in substantial net greenhouse gas sequestration when grown on abandoned pastureland or, to a lesser extent, grassland in the region. The task is also analyzing marginal carbon abatement costs for shrub willow under several different production scenarios that impact both the life cycle assessment and techno-economic analysis, including the substitution of diesel fuel by biodiesel, growth on different land types, varying fertilizer application rates, and the utilization of different shrub willow cultivars. This proposed presentation will summarize the major findings of this task under the BRDI project being led by SUNY ESF, their implications for sustainable energy in the U.S. Northeast, and the next steps under the project.