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Location and Spatial Pricing in Agricultural Markets

Agricultural markets often feature significant transport costs and spatially distributed production and processing which causes spatial imperfect competition. Spatial economics considers the firms’ decisions regarding location and spatial price strategy separately, usually on the demand side, and under restrictive assumptions. Therefore, alternative approaches are needed to explain, e.g., the location of new ethanol plants in the U.S. at peripheral as well as at central locations and the observation of different spatial price strategies in the market.

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Biomass Supply from Alternative Cellulosic Crops and Crop Residues: A Preliminary Spatial Bioeconomic Modeling Approach

This paper introduces a spatial bioeconomic model for study of potential cellulosic biomass supply at regional scale. By modeling the profitability of alternative crop production practices, it captures the opportunity cost of replacing current crops by cellulosic biomass crops. The model draws upon biophysical crop input-output coefficients, price and cost data, and spatial transportation costs in the context of profit maximization theory. Yields are simulated using temperature, precipitation and soil quality data with various commercial crops and potential new cellulosic biomass crops.

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Optimal Biorefinery Locations and Transportation Network for the Future Biofuels Industry in Illinois

This article addresses development of the Illinois ethanol industry through the period 2007-2022, responding to the ethanol production mandates of the Renewable Fuel Standard by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The planning for corn-based and cellulosic ethanol production requires integrated decisions on transportation, plant location, and capacity.

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A Spatial Equilibrium Model of the Impact of Bio-Fuels Energy Policy on Grain Transportation Flows

Traffic flows in the U.S. have been affected by the substantial increase and, as of January 2009, decrease in biofuel production and use. This paper considers a framework to study the effect on grain transportation flows of the 2005 Energy Act and subsequent legislation, which mandated higher production levels of biofuels, e.g. ethanol and biodiesels. Future research will incorporate changes due to the recent economic slowdown.

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Impact of United States Corn-based Ethanol Production on Land Use

The purpose of this research was to determine whether indirect land use occurs and if so to what extent. Indirect land use is a change from non-cropland to cropland (e.g. deforestation) that may occur in response to increasing scarcity of cropland. As farmers worldwide respond to higher crop prices in order to maintain the global food supply and demand balance, pristine lands are cleared and converted to new cropland to replace the crops for feed and food that were diverted elsewhere to biofuels production.

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Economic and Marketing Efficiency Among Corn Ethanol Plants

In the corn ethanol industry, the ability of plants to obtain favorable prices through marketing decisions is considered important for their overall economic performance. Based on a panel of surveyed of ethanol plants we extend data envelopment analysis (DEA) to decompose the economic efficiency of plants into conventional sources (technical and allocative efficiency) and a new component we call marketing efficiency.

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The Effect of Ethanol Production on the U.S. National Corn Price

A system of equations representing corn supply, feed demand, export demand, food, alcohol and industrial (FAI) demand, and corn price is estimated by three-stage least squares. A price dependent reduced form equation is then formed to investigate the effect of ethanol production on the national average corn price. The elasticity of corn price with respect to ethanol production is then obtained. Results suggest that ethanol production has a positive impact on the national corn price and that the demand from FAI has a greater impact on the corn price than other demand categories.

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Spatial Marketing Patterns for Corn Under the Condition of Increasing Ethanol Production in the U.S.

Events external to agriculture have set in motion the conditions for structural change in the marketing of corn in the U.S. These included a rapid increase in the price of crude oil from $40 per barrel to over $100 caused by hurricanes, geopolitical events, an increased global demand for energy from countries like China and India, and in December 2007, the U.S. raising the renewable fuel standards. The results of this research show that there could be significant changes in the historical utilization and marketing of corn in the U.S.

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Choice of optimum feedstock portfolio for a cellulosic ethanol plant – A dynamic linear programming solution

When the lignocellulosic biofuels industry reaches maturity and many types of biomass sources become economically viable, management of multiple feedstock supplies – that vary in their yields, density (tons per unit area), harvest window, storage and seasonal costs, storage losses, transport distance to the production plant – will become increasingly important for the success of individual enterprises. The manager’s feedstock procurement problem is modeled as a multi-period sequence problem to account for dynamic management over time.

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Economic Efficiency of Ethanol Plants in the US North Central Region

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.

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