Sustainability, Marketing and Policy

The US-India Consortium for Development of Sustainable Advanced Lignocellulosic Biofuel Systems is committed to researching and developing advanced clean energy technologies including biomass-based advanced biofuel systems and bio-based products. Within this overarching agenda, the Work Package 3 research group deals with the sustainability, marketing and policy of advanced biofuels produced from switch grass in United States and from sorghum, bamboo and pearl millet biomass in India.

Specifically the research group will:

  • Analyze and develop certification protocols and sustainability standards for advanced biofuels
  • Conduct energy, emissions, and economic analysis to assess viability of advanced biofuels and associated tradeoffs
  • Perform supply chain management analysis of the production, distribution, marketability, and sustainable attributes of food based and non-food biomass based biofuels.
  • Standards and certification protocols
    • The group will develop a set of sustainability indicators for the advanced biofuels. Standards similar to those developed for sustainable feedstock management, energy balances, greenhouse gas emission reductions, and existing codes and guidelines for biomass harvesting/collection, transport and conversion will be used to create some of these indicators. The learning from feedstock production and conversion conducted by project members will be used to develop standards and protocols.  Comparative analyses of standards and protocols prepared for both countries are proposed so that stakeholders can adapt these standards and protocols according to feedstock, technology and country-specific socioeconomic milieu.

  • Energy, emissions, and economic analyses
    • Energy and greenhouse of switchgrass based butanol in United States and advanced biofuels in India will be ascertained through life cycle analysis. The carbon balance of advanced biofuel systems and total emissions of greenhouse gas from different feedstock based biofuel regimes will be evaluated. The micro-level feedstock-based analyses, along with cost-benefit information, will be used to assess economic viability of clean energy technologies for the production of advanced biofuels. Environmental consequences, such as carbon offsets and impacts on long-term land productivity, will be accounted for and examined via tradeoff analysis. The income and employment impacts (including total and distributional impacts) of advanced biofuels will also be analyzed. The expansion of advanced biofuels production represents a tremendous opportunity to enhance economic vitality of the rural economy for both countries.

  • Supply chain management analyses
    • The group will analyze supply chain aspects affecting the production and sustainability of biofuels, and identify drivers and barriers impacting the marketability and distribution of non-food biomass based biofuels. Supply chain management addresses all the activities related to the procurement, production, and delivery of the final good or services to the end user (Figure-1). The group will identify barriers and drivers affecting the marketability and distribution of biofuels, and evaluate markets for production facilities including distribution intermediaries on the demand side.
      supply chain graphics Figure 1.Supply chain of a biofuels

      Successful completion of the center’s work will benefit both the U.S. and India by delivering a working model for feedstock production and supply, biochemical conversion approaches and technologies that have been validated on pre-commercial scale systems, and overall economics and sustainability of biofuel production and supply systems. It is envisaged that the activities will develop a multi-institutional biofuels’ network using a public-private partnership model.

  • Project Documents
Biofuel Information
Cutting a sorghum sample

Cutting a sample of sorghum for test purposes. Sorghum crops, biofuel production.