Evaluating the Cost and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Supplying a Dedicated Energy Crop: A GIS-based Multi-objective Optimization Analysis

August 8, 2013

Producing biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass (LCB) has been suggested as a way to mitigate the dependence on fossil fuels and the production of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States. Switchgrass, a native perennial grass in North America, has been regarded as a promising LCB feedstock for bioenergy. Tennessee Biofuel Initiative, a state-funded program, has committed $70 million to develop the local switchgrass-based energy industry. More than 5,000 acres of switchgrass land and a pilot biorefinery have been established since 2007.
Both economic and environmental performance of switchgrass supply chain can potentially impact the sustainability of the emerging bioenergy industry. Since some factors such as land conversion and feedstock transportation have an effect on both the economic cost and GHG emissions, a tradeoff might exist between these two objectives if one factor has a positive impact on cost [GHG emissions] but a negative influence on GHG emissions [cost].

Biomass2013poster 0730.pdf — PDF document, 2.2 MB
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