The Potential Viability of Biomass Ethanol as a Renewable Fuel
Much attention has been paid to alternative fuel sources of late. Ethanol has been a politically popular alternative fuel additive and has recently been pushed to the forefront as a leading replacement to MTBE as an oxygenate. This paper examines the potential markets for ethanol, including biomass ethanol, and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of different oxygenate products. We find that the market for ethanol is tenuous and dependent on government support at this time. Biomass ethanol is more expensive to produce, but does have the advantage of being able to be produced near petroleum refineries, thus reducing transport costs, compared to other sources of ethanol.
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