Gene R. Petersen1, Helena L. Chum1
(1) National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO
ABSTRACT: Carbon-Based Renewables: Options for Use in Managing Carbon
A major factor in the economic success story of the United States is the availability of an abundant supply of energy to run the industrial base and maintain the standard of industry. Sustainability can infer the rational use of all our indigenous resources. One view of the use of carbon-based renewables for energy is the displacement of fossil fuels hence extending the life of fossil fuel supplies. An ancillary benefit of use of carbon-based renewables is their ability to recycle or store large amounts of carbon both in above and below ground plant tissue but also in soils. This paper will discuss the state of the technology in biobased renewable energy, the limitations for use and application, and the known economics for implementation. Studies have shown that use of dedicated tree plantations and advanced Integrated Gasification and Combined Cycle technology can yield 16 units of energy for each input unit of fossil energy. This process shows 95% carbon closure. Comparisons of life-cycle carbon emissions for other power systems such as coal-fired, combined coal/biomass fired plants, and steam-reforming of methane to hydrogen have also been reported. Initial estimates of carbon storage in trees and soils have been made as well as estimates of the cost of such storage. The valuation of agriculture sites for carbon credits has begun, however the reactions to such efforts are mixed. Technologies for producing power, products, and fuels from renewables will be discussed along with their current state of technical and economic development.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90906©2001 AAPG Annual Convention, Denver, Colorado