Biomass System Efficiency

Well-to-wheels fuel efficiency. The efficiency of converting biomass to electricity and to hydrogen is summarized in this chart. To propel a battery EV 250 miles, approximately 1.48 MBTU’s of biomass energy would be required, assuming a 28% efficient biomass combustion turbine. For comparison, only 1.03 MBTU’s of biomass would be required to make enough hydrogen for a fuel cell EV traveling 250 miles.  Therefore converting biomass to hydrogen for a fuel cell EV is 43% more efficient than converting biomass to electricity for a battery EV. 

Total system efficiency vs. range. If drivers will accept shorter ranges between battery charges, then BEVs can be made lighter with less battery storage on-board. The advantage of the FCEV then decreases as shown below:

If the vehicle range is reduced to 100 miles, then the FCEV has only a slight efficiency advantage over the BEV.

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