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Ethanol from Biomass: Economic and Environmental Potential of Converting Corn Stover and Hardwood Forest Residue in Minnesota

Listed author(s):
  • Petrolia, Daniel R.

Research was undertaken to determine the economic feasibility and environmental impact of harvesting corn stover and hardwood forest residue in Minnesota and surrounding states for conversion to fuel ethanol at facilities located in Minnesota. It was estimated that only 7 of the total 41 million dry tons of corn stover produced and 3 of the 6.5 million dry tons of hardwood residue produced in the study region would likely be harvested each year. From these quantities, it would be physically feasible to produce about 874 million gallons of ethanol annually. It was estimated that 200 million gallons could be harvested at a delivered feedstock cost below $40 per ton. Results indicate further that ethanol derived from corn stover would be cost competitive with corn-grain ethanol, and that hardwood residue-derived ethanol would be about $0.16 per-gallon higher than the upper-bound cost for corn-grain ethanol. Furthermore, this work indicates that large-scale substitution of petroleum gasoline with biomass-derived ethanol would have huge impacts with respect to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, although SOx emissions would increase.

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Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA with number 21422.

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Date of creation: 2006
Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea06:21422
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  1. Petrolia, Daniel R., 2006. "The Economics of Harvesting and Transporting Hardwood Forest Residue for Conversion to Fuel Ethanol: A Case Study for Minnesota," Staff Papers 14020, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
  2. Petrolia, Daniel R., 2006. "The Economics of Harvesting and Transporting Corn Stover for Conversion to Fuel Ethanol: A Case Study for Minnesota," Staff Papers 14213, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
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