The need for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, exhaustion of fossil fuel resources and the desire for energy independence have encouraged worldwide interest infuels and chemicals derived from renewable resources, especially those that do not compete with food crops.
Forestry and poultry, the top two income-producing agricultural commodities in Louisiana generate significant quantities of waste that can be used for producing energy pellets or other value-added products such as soil amendments.
There is an opportunity to extract fermentable sugars from energycane and use the fiber byproduct, or bagasse, as lignocellulosic biomass for release of additional fermentable sugars or for conversion into electricity.
Lignocellulosic biomass – which includes agricultural residues such as corn stover and sugarcane bagasse, herbaceous crops such as switchgrass, and both hard and soft woods – is an important source of fermentable sugars and other valuable components.
Crop biomass can be co-fired with coal to produce energy.Co-firing has the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fueled plants. Research has demonstrated that when co-firing is conducted with relatively low ratios of biomass to coal, there are significant reductions in both solid waste generation and emissions.
Biofuel production is an extensive process that involves developing a biological feedstock, processing and treating the feedstock, and producing and refining fuels and chemicals from the feedstock.