Techno-economic, location, and carbon emission analysis of thermochemical biomass to transportation fuels

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Wright, Mark
Major Professor
Robert C. Brown
William R. Morrow
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Mechanical Engineering
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There are significant technological and systemic challenges faced by today's advanced bio- fuel industry. These challenges stem from the current state-of-technology and from the system (consumer market, infrastructure, environment...) in which this emerging industry is being developed. The state-of-technology will improve with continued efforts in technology development, but novel approaches are required to investigate the systemic challenges that limit the adoption of advanced biofuels.

The motivation of this dissertation is to address the question of how to find cost-effective, sustainable, and environmentally responsible pathways for the production of biofuels. Economic competitiveness, long-term viability, and benign environmental impact are key for biofuels to be embraced by industry, government, and consumers. Techno-economic, location, and carbon emission analysis are research methodologies that help address each of these issues. The research approach presented in this dissertation is to combine these three methodologies into a holistic study of advanced biofuel technologies.

The value of techno-economic, location, and carbon emission analysis is limited when con- ducted in isolation because of current public perception towards energy technologies. Energy technologies are evaluated based on multiple criteria with a significant emphasis on the three areas investigated in this study. There are important aspects within each of these fields that could significantly limit the value of advances in other fields of study. Therefore, it is necessary that future research in advanced biofuels always consider the systemic challenges faced by novel developments.

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Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2010