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House Committee Passes Biofuels Infrastructure RD&D Bill

The House Committee on Science and Technology has passed H.R. 547, the Advanced Fuels Infrastructure Research and Development Act.

The bill initiates a research, development and demonstration (RD&D) program to make biofuels more compatible with present-day infrastructure. H.R. 547 also directs agencies to develop technologies and methods to provide low-cost, portable and accurate measurements of sulfur in fuels, and to develop a physical properties database and Standards Reference Materials for biofuels.

...if our country is serious about reducing our dependence on foreign oil, we need to get serious about mobilizing the infrastructure necessary to distribute and dispense alternative fuels.

—Bart Gordon (D-TN), Chairman

We can have all the biofuels to supply every car in our nation, but if the infrastructure is not in place to move the fuels to where they are needed, then it doesn’t help us. Further, if the government is going to mandate that retailers sell Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel, then there should be an affordable means to ensure that the fuel being sold fits those requirements.

—Ralph Hall (R-TX), Ranking Member

Among the changes incorporated during the mark-up session on the bill were making the EPA Office of Research and Development the lead agency conducting the R&D and adding a funding authorization.

H.R. 547 is expected to be before the full House within the next two weeks.



An Engineer

OK Roger,
Let's put it this way: given the opportunity to convert biomass into either a liquid hydrocarbon fuel or hydrogen, why go with hydrogen? Both processes would be carbon neutral. The liquid fuel can be blended into the existing fuel supplies and used in all existing vehicles. And the liquid fuel can be pumped anywhere in the country (or beyond) using existing infrastructure, should there be a need to (for whatever reason). Your ideas about power and heat recovery could apply just as easily to BTL as hydrogen production.

And here's the final straw: Big Oil is already going the route of converting lipids (renewable) into liquid fuels (admittedly with some hick-ups). Which type of fuel do you think these powerful and (financially) secure companies are going to support?

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