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Development within the EEC of an agriculture specifically intended to produce energy could lessen the acute crisis in outlets for traditional agricultural production. This study gives an economic assessment of the most promising agro-energy lines, which takes into acount the impact of technical progress in raw material production and transformation. Comparison with data from the conventional energies sector gives an estimate of future profitability should this direction be taken for agriculture. The short term line of heat production based on wood chips obtained from short rotation coppice is the only one which could achieve economic profitability by the year 2000. For car fuel production, thermochemical lines using lignocellulosic biomass as raw material (methanol synthesis and above all liquefaction by flash pyrolysis followed by cracking of oil obtained in petrol) appear most promising in the long term. Ethanol production and vegetable oil ester production are unable to overcome the cost differential currently witnessed with these latter lines. Fuels obtained from biomass (if mass-produced) can be expected to be competitive only if the price per barrel of oil exceeds 50$, which appears fairly improbable.

Additional information

Authors: BECKER J J, Cemagref, Groupement d'Antony, Division "Transformations thermiques des produits agricoles", Antony Cedex (FR)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 12067 EN (1989) MF, 109 pp., ECU 8, blow-up copy ECU 13.75
Availability: (2)
ISBN: CD-NA-12067-EN-C
Record Number: 198910358 / Last updated on: 1994-12-01
Original language: en
Available languages: en