Introduction of Biomass as Renewable Energy Component of Future Transportation Fuels 982497
Biomass is a potential source of renewable fuel energy, but faces several practical barriers. The cost of producing hydrogen by gasification of biomass, using natural gas as cofeedstock, is compared with gasoline as fuel for fuel cell vehicles. Methanol is considered as an essential initial step toward a hydrogen infrastructure because its cost would be competitive with petroleum fuels, its production technology is similar to that of hydrogen, and it is compatible with existing refueling infrastructure with minimum modification. The economic components of these fuel options are examined from the perspective of national interests and goals to assess their efficacy for reduction of long-term environmental impacts, dependence on imports, urban air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.