Title page for ETD etd-07062016-111309

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Holzapfel, Alessandro
Author's Email Address aholza1@lsu.edu
URN etd-07062016-111309
Title An Assessment of the Economic Feasibility of Establishing a Biofuel Industry in the State of Louisiana
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Agricultural Economics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Salassi, Michael Committee Chair
Fannin, James Committee Member
Westra, John Committee Member
  • bio-butanol
  • energy cane
  • sweet sorghum
  • crop sequencing
  • linear programming model
Date of Defense 2016-06-23
Availability unrestricted
As national interests continue to encourage the development of advanced cellulosic biofuels, through legislation, research support and other means, a wide range of alternative agricultural crops are being evaluated in various regions of the country as potential feedstock material for biofuel processing facilities. Previous research has shown that both energy cane and sweet sorghum can be successfully grown in Louisiana. This study evaluated the economic feasibility of utilizing energy cane and sweet sorghum as biofuel feedstock crops. Economic analysis focused on two primary factors: estimation of feedstock cost and optimal location of processing facilities. Five cropping sequences were evaluated in the production of energy cane and sweet sorghum as feedstock crops. Production costs per acre were similar across the two crops and alternative cropping sequences. Estimated feedstock costs per dry ton were more variable for sweet sorghum, as compared with energy cane, due to the wider range of expected yields observed for sweet sorghum across alternative production periods. Transportation costs from field to processing facility along with the percent of idle land not enrolled in conservation programs were found to be two of the major factors which will influence optimal location of feedstock processing facilities.
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