An analysis of producing ethanol and electric power from woody residues and agricultural crops in East Texas
MetadataShow full item record
The increasing U.S. dependence on imported oil; the contribution of fossil fuels to the greenhouse gas emissions and the climate change issue; the current level of energy prices and other environmental concerns have increased world interest in renewable energy sources. Biomass is a large, diverse, readily exploitable resource. This dissertation examines the biomass potential in Eastern Texas by examining a 44 county region. This examination considers the potential establishment of a 100-megawatt (MW) power plant and a 20 million gallon per year (MMGY) ethanol plant using lignocellulosic biomass. The biomass sources considered are switchgrass, sugarcane bagasse, and logging residues. In the case of electricity generation, co-firing scenarios are also investigated. The research analyzes the key indicators involved with economic costs and benefits, environmental and social impacts. The bioenergy production possibilities considered here were biofeedstock supported electric power and cellulosic ethanol production. The results were integrated into a comprehensive set of information that addresses the effects of biomass energy development in the region. The analysis indicates that none of the counties in East Texas have sufficient biomass to individually sustain either a 100% biomass fired power plant or the cellulosic ethanol plant. Such plants would only be feasible at the regional level. Co-firing biomass with coal, however, does provide a most attractive alternative for the study region. The results indicate further that basing the decision solely on economics of feedstock availability and costs would suggest that bioenergy, as a renewable energy, is not a viable energy alternative. Accounting for some environmental and social benefits accruing to the region from bioenergy production together with the feedstock economics, however, suggests that government subsidies, up to the amount of accruing benefits, could make the bioenergies an attractive business opportunity for local farmers and investors.
Ismayilova, Rubaba Mammad (2003). An analysis of producing ethanol and electric power from woody residues and agricultural crops in East Texas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from