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Library Economic Aspects of Renewable Energy from Agricultural Waste on the Southern Plains of Texas

Economic Aspects of Renewable Energy from Agricultural Waste on the Southern Plains of Texas

Economic Aspects of Renewable Energy from Agricultural Waste on the Southern Plains of Texas

Resource information

Date of publication
December 2010
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ISBN / Resource ID

Motivated to explore sustainability of renewable energy from bio-waste, this study attempted todiscover the economic feasibility of effectively utilizing the existing agricultural waste togenerate bio-energy, to complement local nucleus business by meeting specific market demandswhile assessing the reasonable risk associated with bio-energy production for an area with heavyconcentration of agricultural production and serious water constraints.Since the problems to be addressed are all location specified critical points for bio-energygeneration, GIS maps are used to identify the locations and the associated attainable volumes ofagricultural waste. Meanwhile, reasonable variation and distribution of attainable cotton ginwaste was identified by using a Monte Carlo Markov Chain simulation. Consequently, theconstrained expected profit maximization model was specified to assess the optimal plant size,application of technologies and associated production outputs under multiple scenarios of marketsituations.Conclusions based on the study results include that the possibility of peaking power contact forbio-energy outputs is critical for taking advantage of larger scales of bio-energy production,reducing the production risk and enhancing the competitiveness of bio-energy products.Gasifying biomass is a feasible way to generate electricity for peak load needs while satisfyingself consumption and incidental sale if necessary facilities connecting to the grid are available.Mobile pyrolysis plants have sufficient potential for profits all the way through effectivelyconverting biomass to bio-oil, hence increasing the feasibility of a large-scale bio-energy facilityand the capability to meet the needs of higher valued peaking power by utilizing an existingfacility at local power plants in the study region. Also, the study results imply that production ofbio-energy from agricultural waste has higher risks, and the variance of profits could be immenseeven though at a typical area with heavy concentrations of agricultural production. Technologyimprovement associated with reduced expenses for plant facilities or the increased convertingefficiency would be the key components for dealing the risk and commercializing bio-energyproducts in long term.

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Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s)

Liu, Xiaolan
Farmer, Michael

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