Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/191073
Title:
Economic analysis of biofuels production in arid regions
Author:
Ruskin, Helen Ann Kassander.
Issue Date:
1983
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The objective of this study is to develop a model to evaluate the economic feasibility of biofuels production, and in particular to isolate the variables crucial to feasibility. The model constructed to define these variables is unique in its ability to accommodate a variety of plants and to integrate all portions of the production process; it was tested on a case study of a Euphorbia lathyris industry. The model minimizes costs of production to determine the best configuration for the industry. Total cost equals the sum of costs incurred in each segment of the process: growth, harvest, transport, and extraction. The solution is determined through a non-linear transportation- transshipment algorithm which describes production as a series of nodes and links. Specific application of the model was analysis of E. lathyris biofuel production in Arizona. Simulations were run examining the sensitivity of biocrude cost to changes in input parameters. Conclusions are summarized as follows. * No change in any single element can reduce final cost sufficiently to enable competitive production in the near future. * The major factor necessary to bring cost into range is improvement in biological yield. Two components of equal importance are tonnage produced per acre and percentage extractables recovered in processing. * Lowering cropping costs provided the most effective improvements of economic inputs. Perennial crops significantly reduced farm costs. * Transportation costs outweighed economies of scale in extraction; extractor location close to crops is more efficient than centralized. The cost minimization model was successfully used to isolate the critical factors for an E. lathyris industry in an arid region. Results determine that this industry would not be competitive in Arizona without dramatic improvements in yields and moderate changes in a combination of input costs. Viability is critically dependent on improvements in tonnage yield produced per acre and percent extractables recovered.
Type:
Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic); text
Keywords:
Hydrology.; Arid regions agriculture -- Economic aspects -- Mathematical models.; Energy crops -- Economic aspects -- Mathematical models.; Energy crops -- Economic aspects -- Arizona -- Mathematical models.; Biomass energy industries -- Economic aspects -- Mathematical models.; Euphorbia lathyris.; Arid regions agriculture -- Economic aspects -- Arizona -- Mathematical models.; Biomass energy -- Economic aspects -- Arizona -- Mathematical models.
Degree Name:
Ph. D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Arid Lands Resource Sciences; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Pingry, David

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleEconomic analysis of biofuels production in arid regionsen_US
dc.creatorRuskin, Helen Ann Kassander.en_US
dc.contributor.authorRuskin, Helen Ann Kassander.en_US
dc.date.issued1983en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe objective of this study is to develop a model to evaluate the economic feasibility of biofuels production, and in particular to isolate the variables crucial to feasibility. The model constructed to define these variables is unique in its ability to accommodate a variety of plants and to integrate all portions of the production process; it was tested on a case study of a Euphorbia lathyris industry. The model minimizes costs of production to determine the best configuration for the industry. Total cost equals the sum of costs incurred in each segment of the process: growth, harvest, transport, and extraction. The solution is determined through a non-linear transportation- transshipment algorithm which describes production as a series of nodes and links. Specific application of the model was analysis of E. lathyris biofuel production in Arizona. Simulations were run examining the sensitivity of biocrude cost to changes in input parameters. Conclusions are summarized as follows. * No change in any single element can reduce final cost sufficiently to enable competitive production in the near future. * The major factor necessary to bring cost into range is improvement in biological yield. Two components of equal importance are tonnage produced per acre and percentage extractables recovered in processing. * Lowering cropping costs provided the most effective improvements of economic inputs. Perennial crops significantly reduced farm costs. * Transportation costs outweighed economies of scale in extraction; extractor location close to crops is more efficient than centralized. The cost minimization model was successfully used to isolate the critical factors for an E. lathyris industry in an arid region. Results determine that this industry would not be competitive in Arizona without dramatic improvements in yields and moderate changes in a combination of input costs. Viability is critically dependent on improvements in tonnage yield produced per acre and percent extractables recovered.en_US
dc.description.notehydrology collectionen_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.subjectHydrology.en_US
dc.subjectArid regions agriculture -- Economic aspects -- Mathematical models.en_US
dc.subjectEnergy crops -- Economic aspects -- Mathematical models.en_US
dc.subjectEnergy crops -- Economic aspects -- Arizona -- Mathematical models.en_US
dc.subjectBiomass energy industries -- Economic aspects -- Mathematical models.en_US
dc.subjectEuphorbia lathyris.en_US
dc.subjectArid regions agriculture -- Economic aspects -- Arizona -- Mathematical models.en_US
dc.subjectBiomass energy -- Economic aspects -- Arizona -- Mathematical models.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh. D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineArid Lands Resource Sciencesen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairPingry, Daviden_US
dc.contributor.committeememberJohnson, J. D.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberEvans, Daniel D.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFrank, Helmuten_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCory, Dennisen_US
dc.identifier.oclc212929911en_US
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.