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Title: Economic and life cycle assessments of biomass utilization for bioenergy products

A modeling process was developed to examine the economic and environmental benefits of utilizing energy crops for biofuels and bioproducts. Three energy crops (hybrid willow, switchgrass and miscanthus) that can potentially grow on marginal agricultural land or abandoned mine land in the northeastern United States were considered in the analytical process for the production of biofuels, biopower and pellet fuel. The supply chain components for both the economic analysis and life cycle modeling processes included feedstock establishment, harvest, transportation, storage, preprocessing, conversion, distribution and final usage. Sensitivity analysis was also conducted to assess the effects of energy crop yield, transportation distance, conversion rate, facility capacity and internal rate of return (IRR) on the production of bioenergy products. The required selling price (RSP) ranged from $ 7.7/GJ to $ 47.9/GJ for different bioproducts. The production of biopower had the highest RSP and pellet fuel had the lowest. The results also indicated that bioenergy production using hybrid willow demonstrated lower RSP than the two perennial grass feedstocks. Pellet production presented the lowest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (less than 10 kg CO 2 eq per 1,000 MJ) and fossil energy consumption (less than 150 MJ per 1,000 MJ). The production of biofuel resultedmore » in the highest GHG emissions. Sensitivity analysis indicated that IRR was the most sensitive factor to RSP and followed by conversion rate for biofuel and biopower production. As a result, conversion rate and transportation distance of feedstock presented a significant effect on environmental impacts during the production of the bioproducts.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. West Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV (United States)
  2. Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)
  3. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  4. Drexel Univ., Philadelphia, PA (United States)
  5. State Univ. of New York (SUNY), Syracuse, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1932-104X
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 11; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1932-104X
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; biofuels; biomass; bioproducts; energy crops; marginal land; bioenergy product; life cycle assessment; economic modeling
OSTI Identifier: