Fuel from Organic Matter: Possibilities for the State of California.

by Doris J. Dugas

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback21 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

An investigation of the amount of organic material that might be made available for energy purposes in California, its potential fuel value, and the estimated cost. Organic sources considered are (1) crops grown specifically for energy, (2) natural forests, and (3) wastes from urban, agricultural, and industrial sectors. Plants from nearly 5 million acres of farm land, not now harvested, could be converted to 11.5 percent of California's natural gas consumption. Production, hauling, and conversion costs are estimated at $2.61/million BTU of gas. Although natural forests have multiple competitive uses, trees as an energy crop would be advantageous over conventional field crops, and have equally high yields. Organic wastes converted to fuel would provide about 8 percent of the state's gas consumption. Assuming that wastes have to be collected anyway, cost of fuel production would be conversion cost, or $0.31/million BTU for the anaerobic bacterial method. 21 pp. Ref.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.