SUBI Production Costs

Michael Salassi, Attaway, Denise, Ensley, Carlen  |  3/21/2014 8:21:25 PM

Harvesting sweet sorghum
Louisiana has the potential to play a major role in the development and production of cellulosic biofuel. One of the leading crops being considered as a feedstock is energycane. Energycane is similar to sugarcane – but with major differences. Energycane has a lower sucrose content and higher fiber content than sugarcane varieties grown in the state, and most importantly, it has higher expected yields in terms of tons of plant material per acre. The articles below are related to the costs involved with producing crops in Louisiana for biofuels.

USDA's biorefinery, renewable chemical and biobased product manufacturing assistance program
The Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program (BAP), also known as the Section 9003 Program, provides loan guarantees to assist in the development of advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals and biobased products manufacturing facilities.

Economic potential for energycane production as a cellulosic biofuel feedstock in the southeastern United States

Salassi, M., Falconer, L.L., Mark, T.B., Deliberto, M.A., Hilbun, B.M. & Cooper, T.L. (2015). AIMS Energy, 3(1), 25-40, DOI:10.3934/energy.2015.1.25

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 established the Renewable Fuels
Standard which set forth goals for domestic renewable fuel production of cellulosic and advanced biofuels in the United States. A major issue confronting the achievement of these biofuel utilization goals is the probability that the eventual expansion of advanced cellulosic biofuel production would be sufficient to meet the stated goals. Current long range projections of cellulosic biofuel production are expected to remain significantly below statutory targets due to the limited supply and expected development of cellulosic biofuel production. The production capacity expansion of advanced cellulosic biofuel has been identified as a major challenge in meeting the Renewable Fuels Standard. Energycane has been identified as a crop with having significant potential to be developed as a biofuel feedstock crop. The greatest challenge currently facing the production of energycane is the ability to expand production of the crop outside temperate zones. Within the six-state study area, approximately 1.15 million hectares were identified as idle cropland having the greatest potential for energycane production.
With a low seed cane expansion planting ratio and harvest through a fourth stubble crop, total energycane production costs were estimated to be $113 per dry metric ton of feedstock. At higher planting ratios, projected total energycane production costs were below $70 per metric ton.

Costs of producing energycane as a biofuel feedstock in Louisiana
Article addressing initial results from research conducted by the LSU AgCenter that shows the potential for energycane production in Louisiana, expected crop yields and projected variable production costs.

Farm-scale cost of producing perennial energycane as a biofuel feedstock
Article in BioEnergy Research addressing a study which explored crop establishment and whole-farm production costs of growing energycane as a biofuel feedstock in the southeastern United States. More specifically, this study focused on estimating total production costs on a feedstock dry-matter biomass basis for five perennial energycane varieties over alternative crop cycle lengths.

Energycane Feedstock Costs
Powerpoint presentation given during the Louisiana Biofuels and Bioprocessing Summit Sept. 11-12, 2012.
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