2009 Awards

Economic Analysis of Pine Biomass Feedstocks for Ethanol Production - N.C. State University

Funding recipient:  North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Award amount:  $162,438

A multi-departmental research team at North Carolina State University is investigating the potential of pine biomass as a source for biofuels production.  One promising and feasible technology for biofuels production utilizes thermo-chemical treatment followed by enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation to produce ethanol.  In this project, sugar yield is evaluated from twenty-three diverse samples of pine biomass, which were selected from 187 different pine varieties based on cluster/family and spectroscopic difference to find the best variety of pine biomass for biofuels production.  Three different pretreatments are being tested: green-liquor, dilute-acid, and organosolv pretreatments.  The sugar yield results together with pretreatment cost will be used in economic models to project the costs of ethanol production from different types of pine biomass.  This project is critical for enabling 10% replacement of liquid fuels in North Carolina because pine biomass is an abundant resource in North Carolina and results are needed soon to guide establishment of biofuel plantations. 

North Carolina counties benefiting from this project: Wake, with potential benefit statewide

For additional information about the impact of Biofuels Center funding and a brief explanation of award recipient reporting requirements, click here.