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Desert Fuels: Systems Approach to Biofuel Production and Energy Storage

Purpose

To create integrated systems to produce fuel from biomass growing in arid/semi-arid regions of the United States. The research effort is aimed at generating transportation fuels and electricity to be consumed near the site of production. The uniqueness of these desert fuel production/consumption systems include:

Relevance

Several federal agencies manage large areas of land in the arid and semiarid regions of the southwestern United States. Today, many of these agencies are being asked to reduce energy consumption and use renewable resources to replace a portion of their liquid fuel consumption. Much of this land area would be well suited for one of the five renewable energy production system technologies being developed at Texas Tech.

The specific objective of this proposal is to generate the feedstocks, production strategies, fuel processing and developmental analyses necessary to allow 20 million acres of federal lands in the western United States to produce renewable liquid fuels. Renewable energy production would reduce dependence on fossil fuels, provide rural communities across the western United States an additional industrial enterprise, and reduce the carbon footprint of the entire region.

Potential Impacts

Lead Agency: Texas Tech University

Partner: U.S. Department of Energy