Alternative Liquid Fuels Simulation Model (AltSim).

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The Alternative Liquid Fuels Simulation Model (AltSim) is a high-level dynamic simulation model which calculates and compares the production and end use costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy balances of several alternative liquid transportation fuels. These fuels include: corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol from various feedstocks (switchgrass, corn stover, forest residue, and farmed trees), biodiesel, and diesels derived from natural gas (gas to liquid, or GTL), coal (coal to liquid, or CTL), and coal with biomass (CBTL). AltSim allows for comprehensive sensitivity analyses on capital costs, operation and maintenance costs, renewable and fossil fuel feedstock costs, feedstock conversion ratio, financial assumptions, ... continued below

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71 p.

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Williams, Ryan; Baker, Arnold Barry & Drennen, Thomas E. December 1, 2009.

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Description

The Alternative Liquid Fuels Simulation Model (AltSim) is a high-level dynamic simulation model which calculates and compares the production and end use costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy balances of several alternative liquid transportation fuels. These fuels include: corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol from various feedstocks (switchgrass, corn stover, forest residue, and farmed trees), biodiesel, and diesels derived from natural gas (gas to liquid, or GTL), coal (coal to liquid, or CTL), and coal with biomass (CBTL). AltSim allows for comprehensive sensitivity analyses on capital costs, operation and maintenance costs, renewable and fossil fuel feedstock costs, feedstock conversion ratio, financial assumptions, tax credits, CO{sub 2} taxes, and plant capacity factor. This paper summarizes the structure and methodology of AltSim, presents results, and provides a detailed sensitivity analysis. The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 sets a goal for the increased use of biofuels in the U.S., ultimately reaching 36 billion gallons by 2022. AltSim's base case assumes EPA projected feedstock costs in 2022 (EPA, 2009). For the base case assumptions, AltSim estimates per gallon production costs for the five ethanol feedstocks (corn, switchgrass, corn stover, forest residue, and farmed trees) of $1.86, $2.32, $2.45, $1.52, and $1.91, respectively. The projected production cost of biodiesel is $1.81/gallon. The estimates for CTL without biomass range from $1.36 to $2.22. With biomass, the estimated costs increase, ranging from $2.19 per gallon for the CTL option with 8% biomass to $2.79 per gallon for the CTL option with 30% biomass and carbon capture and sequestration. AltSim compares the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) associated with both the production and consumption of the various fuels. EISA allows fuels emitting 20% less greenhouse gases (GHG) than conventional gasoline and diesels to qualify as renewable fuels. This allows several of the CBTL options to be included under the EISA mandate. The estimated GHG emissions associated with the production of gasoline and diesel are 19.80 and 18.40 kg of CO{sub 2} equivalent per MMBtu (kgCO{sub 2}e/MMBtu), respectively (NETL, 2008). The estimated emissions are significantly higher for several alternatives: ethanol from corn (70.6), GTL (51.9), and CTL without biomass or sequestration (123-161). Projected emissions for several other alternatives are lower; integrating biomass and sequestration in the CTL processes can even result in negative net emissions. For example, CTL with 30% biomass and 91.5% sequestration has estimated production emissions of -38 kgCO{sub 2}e/MMBtu. AltSim also estimates the projected well-to-wheel, or lifecycle, emissions from consuming each of the various fuels. Vehicles fueled with conventional diesel or gasoline and driven 12,500 miles per year emit 5.72-5.93 tons of CO{sub 2} equivalents per year (tCO{sub 2}e/yr). Those emissions are significantly higher for vehicles fueled with 100% ethanol from corn (8.03 tCO{sub 2}e/yr) or diesel from CTL without sequestration (10.86 to 12.85 tCO{sub 2}/yr). Emissions could be significantly lower for vehicles fueled with diesel from CBTL with various shares of biomass. For example, for CTL with 30% biomass and carbon sequestration, emissions would be 2.21 tCO{sub 2}e per year, or just 39% of the emissions for a vehicle fueled with conventional diesel. While the results presented above provide very specific estimates for each option, AltSim's true potential is as a tool for educating policy makers and for exploring 'what if?' type questions. For example, AltSim allows one to consider the affect of various levels of carbon taxes on the production cost estimates, as well as increased costs to the end user on an annual basis. Other sections of AltSim allow the user to understand the implications of various polices in terms of costs to the government or land use requirements. AltSim's structure allows the end user to explore each of these alternatives and understand the sensitivities implications associated with each assumption as well as the implications for bottom line economics, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions.

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71 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2009-7602
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/1004373 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1004373
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc831566

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  • December 1, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 4:35 p.m.

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Williams, Ryan; Baker, Arnold Barry & Drennen, Thomas E. Alternative Liquid Fuels Simulation Model (AltSim)., report, December 1, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc831566/: accessed September 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.