Techno-Economic Analysis of Plantation Biomass Production and Small Scale Wood Pellet Processing from Sweetgum for Bioenergy Market

Firuz M Yuldashev, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The U.S. Department of Energy in the “Multi-Year Program Plan, 2016” has set goals focusing on “identifying, developing, demonstrating, and validating efficient and economical systems for harvest and collection, storage, handling, transportation, and preprocessing raw biomass from a variety of herbaceous and woody crops.” Among wide range of feedstocks, sweetgum is a feasible Short Rotation Woody Crops (SRWC) for bioenergy market. Sweetgum may contribute to fulfill energy needs, enhance environmental quality, strengthen economy and provide energy security in the U.S. The major purpose of the study was to assess the economic feasibility of biomass production and small-scale on-site wood pellet processing from sweetgum for bioenergy market. The benefit-cost analysis model was used to estimate the net return over the projected investment period. Monte Carlo simulation was performed for the possible range of net returns and to identify the effect of stochastic variables on profitability of biomass and pellet production. ^ The estimated mean annual equivalent net return from production of sweetgum for biomass and wood pellet production was $74.03/acre and 17,306.56/year respectively. The breakeven price of a dry ton of sweetgum and pellet production was $30.92 and $125.62 respectively. The simulation results showed the mean net return of $98.75/acre with potential range of net return between $61.70 - $140.40/acre (at 90% CI) from sweetgum production. The estimated mean net return from pellet production was $58,018/year with potential range of net return between $45,604- $70,907/year (at 90% CI). The sweetgum yield, market price of biomass and pellet, and projected volume of pellets had the greatest positive effect on profitability.^

Subject Area

Agronomy|Agricultural economics|Agricultural engineering

Recommended Citation

Firuz M Yuldashev, "Techno-Economic Analysis of Plantation Biomass Production and Small Scale Wood Pellet Processing from Sweetgum for Bioenergy Market" (2018). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10840874.
https://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI10840874

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