Biomass Scenario Model (BSM)

The  National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the  Department of Energy (DOE) Office of the Biomass Program are developing strategies for the deployment of new technology for converting a wide range of lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks into ethanol.

Today’s corn ethanol industry has grown over the past 25 years from literally nothing to around 4.5 billion gallons per year. It is based on the now well-established technology of converting the starch in the corn kernel into glucose, followed by conventional yeast fermentation to produce fuel grade ethanol. The new bioethanol industry envisioned by the Biomass Program builds on the foundations laid by the corn ethanol industry but greatly expands the potential for ethanol production. This is being accomplished by making use of new technology that that converts the hemicellulose and cellulose in plant matter (lignocellulosic Biomass) to fermentable sugars for the production of fuel ethanol.

Modeling the integration of all aspects of the supply chain from growing the feedstock through harvest, collection, transport, conversion, distribution of fuel and finally consumption of the fuel in applicable vehicles (including the availability of these vehicles) is critical to understanding where government funds might be utilized most effectively. The transition model will help NREL understand this complex system and test various hypotheses as a means of accelerating the development of a new bioethanol industry.

Recent Publications

See  our Zotero bibliography for a list of publications.

Other Biomass Information

 Department of Energy (DOE) Office of the Biomass Program

Send comments or questions to  Brian Bush.