Driving Down the Cost of Renewable Gasoline
Economical production of gasoline and diesel took another leap forward in fiscal year 2014. PNNL researchers improved two processes that convert biomass directly into bio-oils and bio-crudes. We have reduced the cost of making fuels from wood-based bio-oils by a whopping 60 percent, from $12/gge in 2009 to $4.60/gge today (gge = gasoline gallon equivalent).
Aided by a capital investment from by DOE's Bioenergy Technologies Office, PNNL researchers were able to improve the stability of the catalytic reaction. This resulted in a fourfold increase in on-stream production time between catalyst regeneration and a threefold increase in the reaction rate. Because of these efficiencies, smaller reactors can be used that are less expensive to build and operate.