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Biomass as Feedstock for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry: The Technical Feasibility of a Billion-Ton Annual Supply



The purpose of this report is to determine whether the land resources of the United States are capable of producing a sustainable supply of biomass sufficient to displace 30 percent or more of the country’s present petroleum consumption – the goal set by the Advisory Committee in their vision for biomass technologies. Accomplishing this goal would require approximately 1 billion dry tons of biomass feedstock per year. The short answer to the question of whether that much biomass feedstock can be produced is yes. Looking at just forestland and agricultural land, the two largest potential biomass sources, this study found over 1.3 billion dry tons per year of biomass potential — enough to produce biofuels to meet more than one-third of the current demand for transportation fuels. The full resource potential could be available roughly around mid-21st century when large-scale bioenergy and biorefinery industries are likely to exist. This annual potential is based on a more than seven-fold increase in production from the amount of biomass currently consumed for bioenergy and biobased products. About 368 million dry tons of sustainably removable biomass could be produced on forestlands, and about 998 million dry tons could come from agricultural lands. [Extracto, Executive Summary]

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