Bioenergy Policy and Technoeconomics

Bioenergy Policy

In order to bring the promise of bioenergy in the form of ethanol to fruition, several different policies and programs must be put in place. The policy researchers in our group are tackling the major policy challenges for optimum and efficient production and use of biomass to various forms of fuels including ethanol. Specific focus areas include:

  • The role of biofuels and bioenergy within forest product industrial systems
  • Environmental footprint of lignocellulosic biofuels, including feedstock sourcing and management
  • Triple-bottom line accounting for biofuels
  • Support programs for biofuels and renewable energy
  • 2nd generation biofuel conversion technology comparisons
  • Competitiveness of 2nd generation biofuel production facilities at varying scales and sites
  • Risk management for 2nd generation biofuel producers, including feedstock-product interactions

The policy and techno-economic analysis research conducted by FPB is closely linked with our NGO partner IEA Bioenergy Task 39.

Techno-economic Modeling

The level of maturity of the individual processes involved in the production of fuel ethanol from lignocelluosic materials varies considerably. Some, such as distillation, have been employed in industry for generations, while others, such as pretreatment, are effectively unique to this application. Thus, the evaluation from a technical and economic standpoint, of these individual processes is a prerequisite for the financing and construction of any commercial scale facility. By techno-economic modeling, we aim to identify the most influential and costly process steps as well as the impact, various parameters have on the final production cost of second generation fuel ethanol.

Our partners in techno-economic modelling research: NSERC


Select Publications

Stephen, J.D., Mabee, W.E., Saddler, J.N. 2013. Lignocellulosic ethanol production from woody biomass: The impact of facility siting on competitiveness. Energy Policy (2013), 59, 329-340.

Li, L., Karatzos, S., Saddler, J. 2012. The potential of forest-derived bioenergy to contribute to China’s future energy and transportation fuel requirements. Forestry Chronicle, 88(5), 547-552.

Stephen, J.D., Mabee, W.E., Saddler, J.N. 2012. Will second-generation ethanol be able to compete with first-generation ethanol? Opportunities for cost reduction. Biofuels Bioproducts & Biorefining-Biofpr, 6(2), 159-176.

Mabee, W.E., McFarlane, P.N., Saddler, J.N. 2011. Biomass availability for lignocellulosic ethanol production. Biomass & Bioenergy, 35(11), 4519-4529.

Sims, R.E.H., Mabee, W., Saddler, J.N., Taylor, M. 2010. An overview of second generation biofuel technologies. Bioresource Technology, 101(6), 1570-1580.

Stephen, J.D., Mabee, W.E., Saddler, J.N. 2010. Biomass logistics as a determinant of second-generation biofuel facility scale, location and technology selection. Biofuels Bioproducts & Biorefining-Biofpr, 4(5), 503-518.

Mabee, W.E., Saddler, J.N. 2010. Bioethanol from lignocellulosics: Status and perspectives in Canada. Bioresource Technology, 101(13), 4806-4813.

Ackom, E.K., Mabee, W.E., Saddler, J.N. 2010. Industrial sustainability of competing wood energy options in Canada. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 162(8), 2259-2272.

Mabee, W.E., Gregg, D.J., Arato, C., Berlin, A., Bura, R., Gilkes, N., Mirochnik, O., Pan, X., Pye, E.K., Saddler, J.N. 2006b. Updates on softwood-to-ethanol process development. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 129(1-3), 55-70.

Mabee, W.E., Saddler, J.N. 2006. Renewable-based fuels for transportation. Riso Energy Report 5, Riso National Laboratory. 47-50, ISBN 87-550-3515-9

Mabee, W.E., Fraser, E.D.G., McFarlane, P.N., Saddler, J.N. 2006a. Canadian biomass reserves for biorefining. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 129(1-3), 22-40.

Mabee, W.E., Saddler, J.N. 2006. The potential of bioconversion to produce fuels and chemicals. Pulp & Paper-Canada, 107(6), 34-37.