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Stochastic techno-economic evaluation of cellulosic biofuel pathways.

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      This study evaluates the economic feasibility and stochastic dominance rank of eight cellulosic biofuel production pathways (including gasification, pyrolysis, liquefaction, and fermentation) under technological and economic uncertainty. A techno-economic assessment based financial analysis is employed to derive net present values and breakeven prices for each pathway. Uncertainty is investigated and incorporated into fuel prices and techno-economic variables: capital cost, conversion technology yield, hydrogen cost, natural gas price and feedstock cost using @Risk, a Palisade Corporation software. The results indicate that none of the eight pathways would be profitable at expected values under projected energy prices. Fast pyrolysis and hydroprocessing (FPH) has the lowest breakeven fuel price at 3.11$/gallon of gasoline equivalent (0.82$/liter of gasoline equivalent). With the projected energy prices, FPH investors could expect a 59% probability of loss. Stochastic dominance is done based on return on investment. Most risk-averse decision makers would prefer FPH to other pathways.

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      Author and article information

      [1 ] Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA. Electronic address:
      [2 ] Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management, SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA.
      [3 ] Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
      Bioresour. Technol.
      Bioresource technology
      Elsevier BV
      Dec 2015
      : 198
      26454041 S0960-8524(15)01335-8 10.1016/j.biortech.2015.09.056


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