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Survey of Biomass Resource Assessments and Assessment ... - NREL

Survey of Biomass Resource Assessments and Assessment ... - NREL

iodiesel. This volume

iodiesel. This volume would replace 5% of the economy’s current diesel consumption and 2% of crude oil import. Table 1. Upper Limits to Ethanol Production Using Current Domestic Feedstock Supply Systems in Australia A ABARE Australian Commodity Statistics 2005, 2000–01 to 2004–05 data used; B Beer et al 2003; D Rutowitz 2005; E Australian Cane growers Council 2005; F 2004–05 petrol usage of 19 500 ML. Note: The first figure reported describes the ethanol blend that could be supported, while the bracketed figure corrects for the lower energy content of ethanol relative to petrol (0.66). Source: CSIRO, 2007 Table 2. Upper Limits to Biodiesel Production Using Current Domestic Feedstock Supply Systems in Australia A Beer et al (2005); B A correction for energy content is not required for biodiesel; Note: B10 equates to 10 % replacement of 2004–05 diesel energy. Source: CSIRO, 2007; Note: the tabulated values are taken directly from the source – the unit ML means 10 6 L or 1 dam 3 15

Second-Generation Biofuels Potential Ethanol: The study by CSIRO evaluated the potential for ethanol production from second- generation feedstock in Australia. It estimated the amount of lignocellulosic biomass generated annually in Australia as well as the reasonable amount that could actually be collected (Table 3). The "reasonable available fraction" of biomass resources amount to about 36.7 Mt per year. These include 30 Mt of crop residues, 1.2 Mt of urban wood waste, 0.65 Mt of wood processing residues, 1 Mt of plantation residues, 1.35 Mt of forest residues, and 2.5 Mt of forest thinning. This amount would yield 11 hm 3 of ethanol or 5.2 Mt gasoline equivalent, and it would replace 36% of current gasoline consumption and 26% of crude oil import. Biodiesel: Alternative oilseed crops, such as pongam, jatropha, and Indian mustard, have been considered for biodiesel production in Australia, particularly for marginal lands. Researchers from the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Sydney assessed the marginal lands in Australia and found that 20–30 million hectares are potentially suitable for the production of exotic biofuel crops, namely pongam, jatropha, and Indian mustard. The authors estimate that even if a small fraction of the marginal lands is used for these crops production, it will provide enough feedstocks to supply up to 50% of the economy diesel needs (Odeh and Tan 2007). The marginal agricultural regions of mainland Australia are illustrated in Figure 8. These marginal regions are outside the grain belt in southern Australia and tropical rainforests in northern Australia. The criteria used to delineate these regions include a plant productivity index, as derived by the Australian Greenhouse Office. The “productivity index” model is based on the relationship between the amount of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by plant canopies (APAR) and the various productivity modifiers that affect plant growth (e.g., temperature, soil water content, frost). The model used a monthly time-step to derive both a long-term average monthly productivity index (~250 m resolution) and a monthly productivity index for 1970 to 2002 (1 km resolution) (Kesteven et al. 2004). Table 4 illustrates the location and extent of the areas suitable for exotic biofuel crops. It should be noted, however, that this is a theoretical study and in dept analysis would be needed to determine the marginal land that could actually be developed for biofuels. Moreover, jatropha is declared a highly invasive weed and it is banned in parts of Australia. Considering the uncertainty surrounding the alternative oilseed crops cultivation in the economy they have not been considered in this study. 16

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