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In this study we use data envelopment analysis to decompose the overall economic efficiency of a sample of ethanol plants into three subcomponents: technical efficiency, allocative efficiency and a new component we call marketing efficiency. The relative importance of these sources of efficiency is of particular interest given the recent history of bankruptcies, plant closings and ownership change in the industry. Results reveal that observed production units are very efficient from a technical point of view as suggested by a standard deviation of 1% in technical efficiency.
Spatial Equilibrium in the Bio-Fuel Economy: A Multi-Market Analysis of Trade Distortions in the U.S. and Brazilian Ethanol Sector
Energy security and environmental concerns about global climate change have lead to recent growth in the use of bio-fuels in the U.S. Brazil currently exports a substantial share of its sugarcane based ethanol to the U.S. to support the growing demand for bio-fuels. However, U.S. policies that exogenously affect the bio-fuel sector confound the understanding of the multi-market impacts of a growing bio-fuel demand. Moreover, the various forms of government intervention in the bio-fuel economy leave researchers with unclear conclusions about the prospects for bio-fuels.
Land Use Change and Consequent CO2 Emissions due to U.S. Corn Ethanol Production: A Comprehensive Analysis
The basic objective of this research was to estimate land use changes associated with US corn ethanol production up to the 15 billion gallon Renewable Fuel Standard level implied by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. We also used the estimated land use changes to calculate Greenhouse Gas Emissions associated with the corn ethanol production.
This study focuses on the simulation of a complete process for producing butanol via
acetone, butanol, and ethanol corn fermentation.
Life-Cycle Assessment of Energy and Greenhouse Gas Effects of Soybean-Derived Biodiesel and Renewable Fuels
We assessed the life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission impacts of the following three soybean-derived fuels by expanding, updating, and using Argonne National Laboratory’s Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) model: (1) biodiesel produced from soy oil transesterification, (2) renewable diesel produced from hydrogenation of soy oil by using two processes (renewable diesel I and II), and (3) renewable gasoline produced from catalytic cracking of soy oil.
We assessed current water consumption during liquid fuel production, evaluating major steps of fuel lifecycle for five fuel pathways: bioethanol from corn, bioethanol from cellulosic feedstocks, gasoline from U.S. conventional crude obtained from onshore wells, gasoline from Saudi Arabian crude, and gasoline from Canadian oil sands.
Biofuel production facilities must comply with federal and state air emissions regulations. US EPA resources pertaining to these regulations are summarized in this document. Achieving sustainability may require exceeding federal air emission standards.
Ethanol production doubled in a very short period of time in the U.S.
due to a combination of natural disasters, political tensions, and much more demand
globally from petroleum. Responses to this expansion will span many sectors
of society and the economy. As the Midwest gears up to rapidly add new
ethanol manufacturing plants, the existing regional economy must accommodate the
changes. There are issues for decision makers regarding existing agricultural activities,
transportation and storage, regional economic impacts, the likelihood of growth
Many site specific factors have been identified to influence ethanol plant location and production. These include availability of corn, water, cattle and access to a major highway. The objective of this paper is to determine whether these factors actually have influence on plant size. The rapid expansion of the industry could make these factors crucial in its survival. The study involved 122 ethanol plants in similar number of US counties.