Current and Projected Costs for Biofuels from Algae and Pyrolysis
by Robert Rapier (Consumer Energy Report) A reader recently called my attention to a new and very interesting presentation from the Department of Energy’s Biomass Program:
The presentation explored the question of whether the U.S. government is spending money on the right technology pathways. Costs were presented for biofuel produced from pyrolysis, algae, Fischer-Tropsch (FT), and methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) routes.
I want to share several slides from the presentation to give an idea of what the DOE thinks about the costs for producing biofuels via the various pathways. The first slide below shows the projected cost of production of biofuels via MTG, pyrolysis, and FT for the “Nth Biorefinery Plant” — which is defined as the projected fuel cost after a number of plants have been built and the learning curve has been mastered.
…This slide shows that in 2009 they were estimating costs of production for biofuel based on pyrolysis of $7.68/gallon. By this year (2012) they projected the cost dropping to $4.55, and then over the next 5 years they project costs will fall to $2.32 (again, the Nth plant cost for pyrolysis was projected at $2.00/gallon). They project that the largest savings will come from the upgrading step.