skip to main content

Title: Estimation of economic impacts of cellulosic biofuel production: a comparative analysis of three biofuel pathways: Economic impacts of biofuel production

The development of a cellulosic biofuel industry utilizing domestic biomass resources is expected to create opportunities for economic growth resulting from the construction and operation of new biorefineries. We applied an economic input-output model to estimate potential economic impacts, particularly gross job growth, resulting from the construction and operation of biorefineries using three different technology pathways: 1) cellulosic ethanol via biochemical conversion in Iowa, 2) renewable diesel blendstock via biological conversion in Georgia, and 3) renewable diesel and gasoline blendstock via fast pyrolysis in Mississippi. Combining direct, indirect, and induced effects, capital investment associated with the construction of a biorefinery processing 2,000 dry metric tons of biomass per day (DMT/day) could yield between 5,960 and 8,470 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs during the construction period. Fast pyrolysis biorefineries produce the most jobs on a project level thanks to the highest capital requirement among the three pathways. Normalized for one million dollars of capital investment, the fast pyrolysis biorefineries are estimated to yield slighter more jobs (12.1 jobs) than the renewable diesel (11.8 jobs) and the cellulosic ethanol (11.6 jobs) biorefineries. While operating biorefineries is not labor-intensive, the annual operation of a 2,000 DMT/day biorefinery could support between 720 and 970 jobsmore » when the direct, indirect, and induced effects are considered. The major factor, which results in the variations among the three pathways, is the type of biomass feedstock used for biofuels. The agriculture/forest, services, and trade industries are the primary sectors that will benefit from the ongoing operation of biorefineries.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden CO USA
  2. MRG & Associates, Nevada City CA USA
  3. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland WA USA
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1932-104X; BM0101010
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining; Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 3
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Biofuels; Biomass; Biorefineries; Cellulosic; Economics