Presentation on theme: "Tennessee’s Bioenergy Future: Opportunities and Challenges"— Presentation transcript:
1 Tennessee’s Bioenergy Future: Opportunities and Challenges Burley Stabilization CorporationBoard MeetingJanuary 15, 2007Kelly TillerAgricultural Policy Analysis CenterThe University of Tennessee
2 U.S. Corn Ethanol Production 2012 RFS: 7.5 B gallonsTotal Capacity (as of 11/27/06) = existing + under construction + under expansionCould potentially double corn-ethanol capacityTennessee crop farmers benefit from corn-ethanol, wherever plants are locatedThere’s a limit to the amount of corn-based ethanol we can sustainably produce without disrupting the ag sectorSource: Renewable Fuels Association
3 U.S. Energy Consumption Biomass Consumption Million dry tons/year Forest products industryWood residuesPulping liquorsUrban wood & food & other process residuesFuelwood (residential/commercial & electric utilitiesBiofuelsBioproductsTOTAL445235186190Source: Energy Information Administration (EIA), 2006
4 Transportation Fuel Focus Today, 97% of our transportation fuel comes from petroleum sources
5 Energy In vs. Energy Out * The road to petroleum displacement is paved withcellulosic biomass* Some newer estimates of cellulosic FER >10Source: J. Sheehan & M. Wang (2003)
6 Cellulosic Ethanol: Good to Go We can make lignocellulosic ethanol todayProven at a laboratory scaleFor $3.00/gallon or more (> double corn-to-ethanol cost)There are no commercial facilities operating in the U.S. todayAbengoa facility near completion in Spain, expected to produce 54 MGY from wheat strawIogen test plant running on wheat straw in Canada, commercial facility planned in IdahoBroin corn stover & grain facility near groundbreaking (Iowa)Several planned or under consideratione.g., DuPont, Mascoma, Potlatch, XethanolMaking cellulosic ethanol economically feasible is a major part of the President’s Biofuels InitiativeDOE projects cellulosic ethanol at $1.07/gallon by 2012
7 Our Comparative Advantage Switchgrass (2014, at $50/dt)Logging & ResiduesPerlack, R.D., et al Biomass as Feedstock for a Bioenergy andBioproducts Industry: Technical Feasibility of a Billion-Ton AnnualSupply.Ugarte, et al (forthcoming). Economic Implications to the AgriculturalSector of Increasing the Production of Biomass Feedstocks to MeetBiopower, Biofuels and Bioproduct Demands.
8 TN Bioeconomy VisionProduce & consume at least 1 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol, at $1.20 per gallon wholesale10+ new biorefineries operating in Tennessee, employing 4,000 and supporting 12,000 rural jobsAt least 4 of the biorefineries owned and operated by local farmer cooperatives, retaining an additional $40 million in local communitiesSatellite co-product plants creating an additional 3,000 jobs and $2 billion in revenueMore than 20 thousand farmers growing dedicated energy crops, adding $100 million in new farm revenueIn many ways, this trend can be characterized as a move away from looking at renewable resources only as food and fiber, rather they define a chemical resource with diverse and valuable applications. As such, the foundation for a new sector in Tennessee’s diverse economy is at hand.Our vision of this new industry is captured in the bullet statements.Managed appropriately, a tightly integrated industry can emerge that relies on Tennessee raw materials to produce valuable new products (primarily fuel).Importantly, this comes at a time when the forest sector is facing serious global competition and farm prices are depressed.
9 Corn-Ethanol Biorefinery Locations (October 2006) Believable 10 Years Ago?Corn-Ethanol Biorefinery Locations (October 2006)Source: Renewable Fuels Association
10 The Issue At Hand Simultaneous Development Sufficient, economical, sustainable supply of cellulosic raw material (biomass)Efficient, profitable, low-risk fuel production capacitySufficient, stable, local demand for alternative liquid fuelsSimultaneous DevelopmentSo, why the delay in utilizing the southern resource?To be sure, there are unanswered questions on how to economically convert the complex and diverse feedstock offered by the South. Research and development efforts at UT, ORNL, and many private entities are rapidly breaking down those technical barriers. The greatest remaining challenge is largely one of logistics… the age old chicken or egg question.Farmers need evidence of a market before committing to a new bioenergy crop (I.e., switchgrass); and, ethanol producers need a guaranteed supply of a high-quality cellulosic feedstock before investing in a new plant. Also, distribution networks and consumer demand for the fuel products are necessary for this new economy to take root.In effect, the emergence of these individual pieces needs to occur simultaneously. This will require leadership, and The University of Tennessee is ready to accept that role. Research, development, and demonstration of the cellulosic ethanol process with Tennessee’s raw materials is the critical first-step in collapsing this house of cards.
11 The Tennessee Biofuels Initiative Construct a demonstration-scale cellulosic ethanol facility in TennesseeUtilize 170 tons per day of locally produced switchgrass and woodWork with partner industries to generate 5 million gallons of ethanol annually for local distributionRefine the process for local resources to reduce costs, improve process, scale up to commercialDeploy the model throughout the stateTo achieve the vision of a new bioeconomic sector for Tennessee, we will work with government and industry partners to build a 5 million gallon/year ethanol plant. This will allow the nuances of processing specific to our state to be resolved, and the refined model deployed throughout the state.
12 Facility Siting Proximity to researchers (UT and ORNL) Availability of feedstockTransportation infrastructureProximity to distributorsLocal cooperation & incentives
13 The Cellulosic Ethanol Process 2. Pretreatment: A solvent fractionation process is used to separate the chemical components of the biomass (this step is specific to lignocellulosics).1. Preprocessing: Wood chips and switchgrass are delivered for storage, grinding, drying, and classification.3. Hydrolysis: Enzymes are used to break down the carbohydrates to their fermentable sugars (5C & 6C)The process used for Grassoline production involves:Preprocessing of the feedstock is required to produce particles of uniform dimensions and constant moisture content. Chemical composition of the incoming biomass will also be continuously monitored to better engineer the process.Pretreatment is a distinct pulping process intended to separate the cellulose and hemicellulose (a chemical relative) from the lignin (an aromatic compound routinely described as the glue in trees). This step is unique to lignocellulosic biomass and accounts for much of the additional plant cost.Hydrolysis now relies primarily on cellulase enzymes to break the carbohydrates into sugar molecules (I.e., glucose comes from cellulose). The residue is also collected and used for process heat and energy. It will potentially be used for co-products with further R&D.Yeast converts the sugar to ethanol in a fermentation step that is identical to any ethanol production facility. It may be possible to combine steps 3 and 4 as a simultaneous saccharification/fermentation step with lower cost and greater efficiency. Standard distillation columns are used to remove water and concentrate the fuel.While ethanol is the primary product, the Grassoline plant will be versatile enough to consider options like butanol.4. Fermentation & Distillation: Yeast converts the sugars to ethanol (or related alcohols), and water is removed to further concentrate the product.
14 Coproduct utilization Lignin and solid residue will initially provide heat and energy for the processProduct diversification is considered important to economic viability of the biorefineryResearch will address development of chemical building blocks and novel, value-added products
15 Grassoline™ Feedstock Needs Requires 62,000 tons of biomass annuallyFeed plant 170 tons per dayCould be supplied with 8,000 acres of switchgrassGrown by about farmers within a 50 mile radius of plantEasily supplied by a few surrounding countiesFrom land currently idle or in hay or pastureWithout reducing other crop or livestock productionForest biomass (up to 100 M tons) readily available within transport range, important for smoothing seasonality of feedstockWith a production capacity of 5 mgy, the Grassoline facility will consume approximately 62,000 tons of biomass each year. This volume can be supplied by converting about 8,000 acres of land to switchgrass production. In the proposed area, there is more than sufficient idle land to accommodate this supply level.Within the 50 mile radius for biomass that is being considered, just under 100 million tons of forest biomass is present with a large portion in Cherokee National Forest. This presents the opportunity to develop a stewardship contract with the Forest Service to acquire biomass generated by forest management operations. The availability of this source is important to ensure a steady supply throughout the year.
16 Switchgrass Suitability Well suited to the SoutheastCurrently, ~6 tons/acre in TNPotential for 12+ tons/acreWarm season, native, perennial grassHighly resistant to many pests and plant diseasesLow use of chemicals or fertilizersTolerates poor soils, flooding, drought1-2 year establishment, replant year 11Production/harvest practices similar to hayWorking toward multiple harvests per yearUT has long history of switchgrass production and market research
17 TN Switchgrass Potential Tennessee could produce enough switchgrass by 2025 to produce more than a billion gallons of ethanol annuallyby 2012by 2025Dry tons of switchgrassAssuming $40 dt at the farm gateAssuming yields around 6 dt/acreWithout disrupting sector balanceOur focus on switchgrass comes largely from the potential it offers for farmers across the state and its direct impact on the rural economy. Recent modeling work shows very high production volumes across the state by 2025 without significantly impacting other crops. Additionally, switchgrass offers the following benefits:It is a native perennial with very high biomass yields.It utilizes existing equipment technology for production and harvestingConsiderable opportunity to enhance properties is available through traditional genetic selection methodsSupplying a consistent and high-quality biomass crop simplifies the conversion process and improves efficiency
18 A Profitable Alternative Returns above variable costs, Tennessee, 2006Source: UT Extension Crop Budgets, 2006(1): 6 dt/ac, $40/dt(2): 6 dt/ac, $55/dt(3): 10 dt/ac, $40/dtFrom UT Extension Annual Crop Production Budgets, 2006To emphasize the benefits of this new bioenergy crop to Tennessee’s farmers, a look at production returns is shown. Under today’s yield assumptions, switchgrass is already competitive with the most common row crops, and is much more attractive than hay. With the conservative adjustment for biomass yield in outyears, this crop shows tremendous performance potential.There is little reason to believe that farmers would not be willing to produce switchgrass… the business decision is a simple one.Crop Avg Yield Avg Mkt Price Net Returns above Variable ExpensesCorn 150 bu/ac $2.15/bu $96.52Cotton 725 lbs/ac $0.55/lb $80.79Soybeans 40 bu/ac $5.25/bu $94.49Wheat 55 bu/ac $3.25/bu $25.09Swithgrass 6 tons/ac $55/ton $192.97Switchgrass 6 tons/ac $40/ton $102.97Switchgrass 10 tons/ac $40/ton $262.97Burley 2,100 lbs/ac $1.55/lb $1,086.70At current yields (6 tons/ac) and $40/ton, competes with corn, cotton, soybeans for acreageSignificantly higher returns than hay, on similar acreageWith yield improvements, returns potentially more than double traditional row cropsSpecialty crops can return $1,000+/acre, with significantly higher risk, limited opportunities
19 Economic BenefitsFor a billion gallons of ethanol production, TN gets:10,000 to 20,000 new jobs$400 million dollars in new state & local taxesCellulosic bioeconomy is an opportunity to:Create rural jobs, development, and wealthKeep money in the state that is spent today but currently flows out-of-stateEach commercial facility:Directly employs 200Supports 1,400 jobs indirectlyIncreases Gross State Product by $223 millionGenerates $40 million in new tax revenueOwnership of a facility by a local cooperative retains an additional $10 million per year in the local economyThe successful deployment of this new industry sector across the state has benefits beyond the farmer and rural economic development. The project numbers here are derived from a recent report by the Renewable Fuels Association, and are based on impacts of the corn to ethanol industry that has emerged in the midwest. Obviously, the exact numbers hinge on tax and other differences between the states. Still the impact is impressive.These numbers drive home the point that this is a NEW manufacturing sector that produces value-added fuel and chemicals from our renewable resources. In Tennessee, this industry will utilize Tennessee raw materials to produce ethanol and other chemicals that are needed by Tennessee consumers.
20 A Synergistic Fit Builds on the UT/ORNL partnership Unparalleled capacity for discovery and implementation through science, engineering, and outreachImproves competitiveness of GTL Bioenergy Center ProposalSoutheastern Sun Grant Center is hub for regional biofuels/bioproducts researchSignificant UTIA internal redirecting and expansion in this arenaSignificant/driving issue in several policy arenas2007 Farm Bill, EPAct, statesWe believe that Project Grassoline is the logical next step for bringing this new industry to Tennessee. It builds on the strengths that we have in place already, and takes advantage of partnerships and programs targeting the bio-based economy. We would argue that the unique scientific capacity of ORNL and the engineering and outreach capability of UT make this the only possible place for the leadership needed to move this project forward.Most importantly, Project Grassoline will demonstrate the viability of cellulosic ethanol production in the South, demonstrating the innovative and aggressive development environment that is Tennessee.
21 The opportunity is today! Cellulosic ethanol represents the foundation for a new industry sector with value-added processing of Tennessee raw materialsThe pilot-scale facility will:Address the nuances of the feedstock and optimize the processEnable research to expand the biorefinery products and marketsResolve regulatory and logistical concernsStreamline the processing systemLead the commercial deployment of Tennessee’s bio-based economyIt’s not everyday that we have the opportunity to create a totally new manufacturing sector for our economy. One that will be built on renewable raw materials that are available locally… and, one that will generate a product with virtually unlimited market demand. Demand that comes from our own citizens, our neighboring states, and our nation.To be sure, there are hurdles to be overcome. But, they will only be overcome through leadership and commitment. And, the opportunity to lead will not be with us long!Thank you…