Gasoline from trees

KiOR Corp. recently announced the completion of a commercial-scale plant to make gasoline blendstocks from wood. According to the company, the commercial facility at Columbus, Miss., will produce 11 million gal/year of gasoline blendstocks from 183,000 tons of southern yellow pine. Since the density of southern yellow pine is about 39 lb/cu ft, this mass of wood is equivalent to 9.4 million cu ft.1 The average annual growth of growing stock on commercial timberland in the south is about 65 cu ft/acre.2 Therefore, annual production of 11 million gal of gasoline blendstocks will require that 225 sq miles of timberland be dedicated to fuel production. Note that these 11 million gal of fuel c...

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