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Are Biofuels the Answer?
The Biofuel Supply Chain

CREDITS

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Authors:

  • Timothy Jenkins
    Graduate Program
    Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
    Michigan Technological University
  • Jessica Luxford-Wagenmaker
    Holton Middle School
    Holton, MI

NSFWebpage developed under National Science Foundation Materials Use: Science, Engineering, and Society Biocomplexity Program Grant.

Title: Renewable Energy from Forest Resources: An Investigation into the Viability of Large-Scale Production of Sustainable Transportation Fuels From Lignocellulosic Biomass

Principal Investigator: Ann Maclean

Co-PI: Kathleen E. Halvorsen, David Shonnard, Barry Solomon, Chris Webster, David Flaspohler, John Sutherland

Production:

Animation and Web Design:
Susan E. Hill
Michigan Technological University
Module web design based on a Tech Alive Production.


The mission of the Sustainable Futures Institute (SFI) at Michigan Technological University is to enhance knowledge, develop technologies, and expand capabilities to achieve sustainability.

Sustainable Futures Institute

Energy Independence
Illustration: Sue Hill, Michigan Technological University

Fuel Resources
Animation: Sue Hill, Michigan Technological University. Open animation in its own window.

How Does a Supply Chain Work?
Illustration: Sue Hill, Michigan Technological University

Transportation Fuel Supply Chain
Illustration: Sue Hill, Michigan Technological University

Biofuel Production in the United States
Illustration: Sue Hill, Michigan Technological University

Cellulosic Ethanol Supply Chain
Animation: Sue Hill, Michigan Technological University. Open animation in its own window.

How Much Does it Cost to Produce Renewable Fuels?
Mill and forest residues. (Image: Courtesy of DOE/NREL, Credit - Steve Sargent.)

Manufacturers Can Control: Raw Material Costs
Roadside chipping of forest residues as part of biomass harvesting. (Image: Courtesy of Hakkila, 2004.)
Raw Material Source Illustration: Sue Hill, Michigan Technological University

Manufacturers Can Control: Transportation Costs
Transportation modes for forest residues. Upper left: Trucking of wood chips. (Image: Courtesy of Hakkila, 2004.) Upper right: Logging trucks. (Image: Courtesy of David Shonnard.) Lower left: Transporting logs by rail. (Image: Courtesy of Timothy Jenkins.) Lower right: Moving logs by waterway. (Image: Courtesy of Timothy Jenkins.)

Manufacturers Can Control: Facility Size and Location
Facility location depends on the distance to feedstock sources as well as area resources. Facility size depends on building costs and type of process used. (Image credits, clockwise from upper left: Courtesy of DOE/NREL, Credit - Warren Gretz, Credit - Warren Gretz, Credit - Gerry Harrow, Credit - Patrick Corkery.)

How Do We Spend the LEAST Amount of Money to Produce the MOST Fuel?
Bench scale test for biomass conversion to ethanol. (Image: Courtesy of DOE/NREL, Credit - Patrick Corkery.) Ethanol fuel price per gallon. (Image: Courtesy of DOE/NREL, Credit - MotorWeek/Maryland Public TV.)

Cost Grid Activity
Animation: Sue Hill, Michigan Technological University. Open animation in its own window.