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ARS Home » Plains Area » Mandan, North Dakota » Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #305769

Research Project: Sustainable Agricultural Systems for the Northern Great Plains

Location: Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory

Title: Opportunities and challenges for developing an oilseed to renewable jet fuel industry

Author
item Archer, David
item Lee, Joon Hee
item BERGTOLD, JASON - Kansas State University
item FLORA, CORNELIA - Kansas State University
item Behrman, Kathrine
item Kiniry, James

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/28/2014
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Military and commercial aviation have expressed interest in using renewable aviation biofuels, with an initial goal of 1 billion gallons of drop-in aviation biofuels by 2018. While these fuels could come from many sources, hydrotreated renewable jet fuel (HRJ) from vegetable oils have been demonstrated and certified for aviation use. Oilseeds in the Brassicaceae family, have been identified as promising feedstocks, with relatively high oil content and characteristics that make them suitable for fuel production. These oilseeds could be incorporated into existing cropping systems, largely using existing farm equipment, and potentially with limited displacement of food and feed crops. Research is being conducted by a large interdisciplinary team to investigate the production of these feedstocks within the wheat producing areas of the Western U.S. The research aims to address supply chain barriers that would inhibit the production of HRJ at competitive prices. If an oilseed to HRJ industry is to be viable, feedstock prices will need to be low enough for oil extraction and fuel conversion to be profitable, yet high enough that farmers will be willing to grow these oilseeds. Therefore, research includes economic analysis to determine where these oilseeds can be profitably produced by farmers at the lowest cost. Important in this analysis is including the comparisons with the profitability of producing oilseeds for the edible market. The economic analysis is being conducted using simulation modeling of crop production and environmental impacts using the ALMANAC and EPIC crop simulation models. The research also includes gathering information from producers and industry about other factors that may affect the decision to grow and use these oilseeds for HRJ production. Among factors identified by farmers include concern about additional farm equipment needs, interest in oilseeds with multiple markets, and concerns about segregating seed if non-edible varieties are used for fuel production. Important considerations for military and commercial aviation are avoiding perceptions of food versus fuel tradeoffs, and being able to demonstrate substantial greenhouse gas reductions.