DOE Releases Report Outlining How America Can Sustainably Produce More Than One Billion Tons of Biomass Per Year

WASHINGTON DC - The US Department of Energy (DOE) today released the 2023 Billion Ton Report (BT23), which shows that the United States could sustainably triple its biomass production to more than one billion tons per year. The report, the fourth in a series of assessments of potential biomass resources in the United States since 2005, finds that one billion tons of biomass could meet more than 100% of the country's projected demand for jet fuel, allowing the United States to completely decarbonize. the aviation industry with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Promoting clean energy solutions like biomass is critical to achieving long-term national decarbonization goals and a key component of President Biden's plan. Investment agenda in the United States to deliver new economic opportunities across the country while addressing the climate crisis.

"President Biden is dedicated to building a thriving bioeconomy that benefits all Americans and ensures that everyone, from farmers and scientists to health professionals and engineers, can play a leadership role in our clean energy future," he said United States Secretary of Energy, Jennifer M. Granholm. “The Billion Ton Report shows that the United States is poised to lead the world in the emerging renewable biomass industry, unlocking exciting economic opportunities for farming and rural communities and helping advance the sustainable fuels we need to reduce emissions.” harmful emissions and generate healthier communities throughout the country. .”

Decarbonization of the U.S. industrial and transportation sectors depends on a significant increase in the production of renewable biomass for use in liquid fuels, biobased chemicals, and other products. Highlights from the report include:

  • The United States currently uses about 342 million tons of biomass, including corn grain for ethanol and wood/wood waste for heating and power, to meet about 5% of the United States' annual energy demand.
  • The United States can triple biomass production, producing approximately 60 billion gallons of low-GHG liquid fuels, while meeting projected demand for food, feed, fiber, conventional forest products, and exports.
  • Currently available but unused biomass resources can add about 350 million tons of additional biomass per year above current uses and double the U.S. bioeconomy.
  • Biomass resources, such as energy crops, in a future mature market can provide more than 400 million tons of biomass per year above current uses.
  • Other technological innovations could lead to emerging and evolving resources that represent additional biomass potential.
  • The analysis ensures sustainable outcomes by taking into account potential risks to soil, air and water quality, water availability, and the imperative to protect America's forests and biodiversity.

The BT23 report analyzes the biomass production capacity of approximately sixty resources, several of which have never before been the subject of a DOE billion-ton assessment. These include winter oilseed crops, trees and brush harvested from forests to prevent forest fires, macroalgae such as seaweed grown in ocean farms, and carbon dioxide from industrial plants. The report concludes that the wide dispersion and variety of these resources will ensure that the benefits of expanded biomass production extend to both rural and urban areas.

Expanding domestic sustainable biomass production supports the Biden-Harris Administration's comprehensive approach to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and strengthening US international leadership in clean energy. It also supports the Sustainable aviation fuel grand challengewhich aims to reduce SAF life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared to conventional fuel, and the Clean Fuels and Products Earthshot™ Energywhich aims to decarbonize the chemical and fuel industry through alternative carbon sources.

BT23, developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory on behalf of the DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office, reflects contributions and reviews from multiple federal agencies, national laboratories, universities, and industry stakeholders. Learn more about the 2023 Billion Ton Report.

Furthermore, the US Department of Agriculture recently launched the Plan to Enable the Bioeconomy in the United States: Building a Resilient Biomass Supply report, which outlines a plan to boost the resilience of the biomass supply chain for domestic manufacturing of bio-based products while promoting environmental sustainability and market opportunities for small and medium-sized producers.

Visit the Bioenergy Technologies Office website to learn more about DOE's efforts to build a robust, low-carbon bioeconomy.

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