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Idaho Researchers Slash Cost of Providing Biomass for Biofuels Production

Researchers in Idaho are helping cut the cost of domestic biofuel production by reducing the price of delivered biomass feedstocks up to the point where the biomass enters the biorefinery reactor.

In September, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) bioenergy researchers met a major milestone by reducing the modeled cost of harvesting, storing, transporting, and preprocessing biomass from $149.58/dry ton to $82.86/dry ton. This is not only a significant decrease in cost, but also surpasses the U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO’s) performance goal: a modeled feedstock cost lower than $84.45/dry ton from harvest to the biorefinery reactor throat, including the grower payment. A similar change in crude oil prices between 2008 and 2010 shrunk gasoline prices by more than $1/gallon, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. 


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