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ARS Home » Plains Area » Mandan, North Dakota » Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335344

Research Project: Sustainable Agricultural Systems for the Northern Great Plains

Location: Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory

Title: Oilseeds for Jet Fuel: Economics and Sustainability

Author
item Archer, David
item Lee, Joon Hee - North Dakota State Water Commission
item Ukaew, Suchada - Naresuan University
item Lewis, Kristin - US Department Of Transportation
item Pearlson, Matthew - Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
item Shi, Rui - Michigan Technological University
item Shonnard, David - Michigan Technological University
item Kiniry, James

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/25/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: If renewable aviation fuels are to be commercially viable and sustainable, the fuels should be cost-competitive with existing fuels, and they must be profitable at each stage of the supply chain. In addition, it is important to understand the environmental impacts of producing these fuels throughout the supply chain. A key is identifying feedstocks which can meet these criteria, and different feedstocks may be best suited to different regions. In the Western U.S. oilseeds are potential feedstocks that have shown promise in that they can be good rotational crops in wheat producing areas, have been demonstrated to produce renewable jet fuels that meet quality standards, and can also produce useful co-products for feed and other uses. An analytical framework was developed to identify where oilseeds may be profitable to produce, potential impacts of oilseed production on environmental factors, optimal linkages to transportation and processing facilities, and resulting life-cycle greenhouse gas and net energy impacts. The framework was demonstrated for oilseed production in North Dakota, showing variation in production and environmental effects across the state and as oilseed prices increase. The oilseed prices at which farmers would find it more profitable to include oilseed in their crop rotations are dependent on prices they receive for other crops. With historical crop prices (average 2009-2013), and an oilseed price of $500 per metric ton (1.97 times the spring wheat price), results showed farmers could increase profits by shifting crop rotations to produce 298,000 metric tons of oilseed. If oilseed price increased to $600 per metric ton (2.36 times the spring wheat price), 805,000 metric tons of oilseeds could be profitably produced. These levels would result in approximately 35.4 and 95.6 million gallons of oil, respectively. Results also showed that GHG emissions could be substantially lower for renewable jet fuel produced from oilseeds than for fossil jet fuel. However, these results were sensitive to oilseed price through impacts on crop land use and the location of where oilseeds were most profitably produced.