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In this paper we structure, obtain and analyze results of an expert elicitation on the relationship between U. S. government Research & Development funding and the likelihood of achieving advances in cellulosic biofuel technologies. While there was disagreement among the experts on each of the technologies, the patterns of disagreement suggest several distinct strategies. Selective Thermal Processing appears to be the most promising path, with the main question being how much funding is required to achieve success. Thus, a staged investment in this path looks promising. With respect to gasification, there remains fundamental disagreement over whether success is possible even at higher funding evels. Thus, basic research into the viability of the path makes sense. The Hydrolysis path induced the widest range of responses from the experts, indicating there may be value in collecting more information on this technology.


This is a preliminary version of the paper. The final version should be cited as:

Erin Baker, Jeffrey M. Keisler, Cellulosic biofuels: Expert views on prospects for advancement, Energy, Volume 36, Issue 1, January 2011, Pages 595-605, ISSN 0360-5442, 10.1016/ (

The full text version is available through the following link:


Elsevier Ltd.


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