IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Integrative Investment Appraisal of a Lignocellulosic Biomass-to-Ethanol Industry


  • Tembo, Gelson
  • Epplin, Francis M.
  • Huhnke, Raymond L.


While theoretically more efficient than starch-based ethanol production systems, conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol is not without major challenges. A multi-region, multi-period, mixed integer mathematical programming model encompassing alternative feedstocks, feedstock production, delivery, and processing is developed. The model is used to identify key cost components and potential bottlenecks, and to reveal opportunities for reducing costs and prioritizing research. The research objective was to determine for specific regions in Oklahoma the most economical source of lignocellulosic biomass, timing of harvest and storage, inventory management, biorefinery size, and biorefinery location, as well as the breakeven price of ethanol, for a gasification-fermentation process. Given base assumptions, gasification-fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol may be more economical than fermentation of corn grain. However, relative to conventional fermentation processes, gasification-fermentation technology is in its infancy. It remains to be seen if the technology will be technically feasible on a commercial scale.

Suggested Citation

  • Tembo, Gelson & Epplin, Francis M. & Huhnke, Raymond L., 2003. "Integrative Investment Appraisal of a Lignocellulosic Biomass-to-Ethanol Industry," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 28(03), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jlaare:31070

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. A. Kregel, 1980. "Introduction," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 19-20, October.
    2. Shapouri, Hosein & Duffield, James A. & Wang, Michael Q., 2002. "The Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol: An Update," Agricultural Economics Reports 34075, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Ronald N. Johnson & Gary D. Libecap, 2001. "Information distortion and competitive remedies in government transfer programs: The case of ethanol," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 101-134, July.
    4. Shapouri, Hosein & Duffield, James A. & Graboski, Michael S., 1995. "Estimating the Net Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol," Agricultural Economics Reports 34005, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Palak, Gökçe & Ekşioğlu, Sandra Duni & Geunes, Joseph, 2014. "Analyzing the impacts of carbon regulatory mechanisms on supplier and mode selection decisions: An application to a biofuel supply chain," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 198-216.
    2. Ba, Birome Holo & Prins, Christian & Prodhon, Caroline, 2016. "Models for optimization and performance evaluation of biomass supply chains: An Operations Research perspective," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 87(P2), pages 977-989.
    3. Busby, David P. & Little, Randall D. & Shaik, Saleem & Martins, Angelina & Epplin, Francis M. & Hwang, Seonghuyk & Baldwin, Brian S. & Taliaferro, Charles M., 2007. "Yield and Production Costs for Three Potential Dedicated Energy Crops in Mississippi and Oklahoma Environments," 2007 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2007, Mobile, Alabama 34854, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    4. Egbendewe-Mondzozo, Aklesso & Swinton, Scott M. & Izaurralde, R. César & Manowitz, David H. & Zhang, Xuesong, 2013. "Maintaining environmental quality while expanding biomass production: Sub-regional U.S. policy simulations," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 518-531.
    5. Mapemba, Lawrence D. & Epplin, Francis M., 2004. "Use Of Conservation Reserve Program Land For Biorefinery Feedstock Production," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20336, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    6. De Meyer, Annelies & Cattrysse, Dirk & Rasinmäki, Jussi & Van Orshoven, Jos, 2014. "Methods to optimise the design and management of biomass-for-bioenergy supply chains: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 657-670.
    7. Larson, James A. & Yu, T. Edward & English, Burton C. & Jensen, Kimberly L. & Gao, Yuan & Wang, Chenguang, 2015. "Effect of outdoor storage losses on feedstock inventory management and plant-gate cost for a switchgrass conversion facility in East Tennessee," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 803-814.
    8. Awudu, Iddrisu & Zhang, Jun, 2013. "Stochastic production planning for a biofuel supply chain under demand and price uncertainties," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 189-196.
    9. Fumasi, Roland J. & Richardson, James W. & Outlaw, Joe L., 2008. "The Economics Of Growing And Delivering Cellulosic Feedstocks In The Beaumont, Texas Area," 2008 Annual Meeting, February 2-6, 2008, Dallas, Texas 6788, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    10. Chugh, Shikha & Yu, T. Edward & Jackson, Samuel & Larson, James & English, Burton & Cho, Seong-Hoon, 2015. "Exploring the Potential to Penetrate the Energy Markets for Tennessee-Produced Switchgrass," 2015 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia 196899, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    11. Skevas, T. & Swinton, S.M. & Meehan, T.D. & Kim, T.N. & Gratton, C. & Egbendewe-Mondzozo, A., 2014. "Integrating agricultural pest biocontrol into forecasts of energy biomass production," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 195-203.
    12. Fumasi, Roland J. & Klose, Steven L. & Kaase, Greg H. & Richardson, James W. & Outlaw, Joe L., 2008. "Viability of cellulosic feedstock production from producer to biorefinery," Transition to a Bio Economy Conferences, Integration of Agricultural and Energy Systems Conference, February 12-13, 2008, Atlanta, Georgia 48716, Farm Foundation.
    13. repec:eee:appene:v:210:y:2018:i:c:p:580-590 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Epplin, Francis M., 2008. "Millions of acres for dedicated energy crops: farms, ranches, or plantations?," Transition to a Bio Economy Conferences, Integration of Agricultural and Energy Systems Conference, February 12-13, 2008, Atlanta, Georgia 48711, Farm Foundation.
    15. Chen, Chien-Wei & Fan, Yueyue, 2012. "Bioethanol supply chain system planning under supply and demand uncertainties," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 150-164.
    16. Sharma, B. & Ingalls, R.G. & Jones, C.L. & Khanchi, A., 2013. "Biomass supply chain design and analysis: Basis, overview, modeling, challenges, and future," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 608-627.
    17. repec:eee:appene:v:198:y:2017:i:c:p:360-376 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Hwang, Seonghuyk & Epplin, Francis M., 2007. "Days Available for Harvesting Lignocellulosic Biomass," 2007 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2007, Mobile, Alabama 34991, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    19. Asadullah, Mohammad, 2014. "Barriers of commercial power generation using biomass gasification gas: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 201-215.
    20. Griffith, Andrew P. & Haque, Mohua & Epplin, Francis M., 2014. "Cost to produce and deliver cellulosic feedstock to a biorefinery: Switchgrass and forage sorghum," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 44-54.
    21. repec:eee:appene:v:218:y:2018:i:c:p:266-281 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Busby, David P. & Philips, Andrew L. & Herndon, Cary W., Jr., 2008. "Construction Cost Sensitivity of a Lignocellulosic Ethanol Biorefinery," 2008 Annual Meeting, February 2-6, 2008, Dallas, Texas 6784, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    23. Epplin, Francis M. & Haque, Mohua, 2011. "Policies to Facilitate Conversion of Millions of Acres to the Production of Biofuel Feedstock," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 43(03), August.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:jlaare:31070. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.