Feedstock Supply R&D supports the first element of the biomass supply chain (Figure 1-1) and includes three primary research areas: feedstock resource assessment, feedstock production, and feedstock logistics.
The Biomass Program's overarching strategic goal is to develop sustainable, commercially viable biomass technologies to enable the production of biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts nationwide and reduce dependence on oil through creation of a new domestic bioenergy industry, thus supporting the EISA goal of 36 bgy of renewable transportation fuels by 2022.
Biomass feedstocks are essential to achieving this goal as they are the basis on which all other program platforms rely. The cost, quantity, and quality of feedstock available will determine the amount of biofuels that can be produced. The Feedstock strategic goal is to develop sustainable technologies to provide a secure, reliable, and affordable biomass feedstock supply for the U.S. bioenergy industry, in partnership with USDA and other key stakeholders. The ultimate outcome (2030 and beyond) of feedstock supply R&D is technology and methods that can supply over 1 billion tons per year of biomass feedstocks in a sustainable and cost-effective manner.
Feedstock Supply R&D directly addresses and supports assessment, production, harvesting, preprocessing, and delivery of feedstocks for the Agricultural Residues, Energy Crops, Forest Resources, and Algae pathways.
To integrate the overall preparation (production, harvest, storage, transport, and pretreatment) of an advanced, uniform-format, feedstock supply, the Program is pursuing development of a system that links regionally distributed biomass preprocessing depots to a network of supply terminals and, ultimately, biorefineries (see diagram). The goal is to integrate time-sensitive feedstock collection, storage, and delivery operations into efficient, year-round supply systems that deliver consistently high-quality, infrastructure-compatible feedstocks.