Evaluation of Lignocellulosic Ethanol to Fuel the USA-Canadian Light Duty Transportation Fleet 2001-01-3739
The most attractive non-fossil fuel for the USA-Canadian light duty transportation fleet is ethanol produced domestically from lignocellulosic agricultural feedstocks and residues. Ideally, this fuel can be produced sustainably without using any fossil fuels and without any net carbon dioxide emissions. Growing switchgrass or hybrid trees and using agricultural wastes, such as rice straw, bagasse, and corn stover, holds the potential for transforming the economies of the countries. Well-crafted programs could increase farm income, generate foreign exchange/export earnings, and result in a host of sociologic benefits, while improving environmental quality and sustainability. Five primary drivers would make a biomass ethanol industry attractive: a high petroleum price, energy security concerns, stringent greenhouse gas emissions limitations, an increase in CAFE applying to petroleum products, and a large demand for oxygenated fuels together with banning MTBE.