The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 provides for a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) which mandates that a certain portion of the country's US transportation fuels supply be in the form of biofuels derived from lignocellulosic (LC) biomass. The mandate in 2022 is 16 billion gallons with a stated long term goal of 30%, or 60 billion gallons, by 2030. The 2008 Farm Bill provides a blending credit of $1.01 per gallon for LC gallons. Fuels sourced from miscanthus crops would qualify as LC gallons under these programs.
The President has called for 35 billion gallons of alternative fuels by 2017. As part of meeting this objective, one can imagine that we will derive 15 billion gallons from starch-based ethanol and 5 billion from a combination of sources including biodiesel, coal-to-liquids, gas-to-liquids, etc. This leaves another 15 billion that must come from cellulosic biofuels. At a conversion ratio of 100 gallons per ton of biomass (a conservative estimate), this 15 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels will require 150 million tons of biomass.
In addition, biomass can be mixed with coal in coal power plants without making any alterations to the plant. This way, the burning process takes place more effectively and there is a drastic decrease in the release of harmful gases like sulfur dioxide, which in turn reduces the amount of air pollution and hence, the acid rain.
Biomass, if used effectively and efficiently, could be a catalyst in the future of earths’ renewable energy system. Freedom Giant Miscanthus is a plant that can bring that future quicker.