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Policies to Facilitate Conversion of Millions of Acres to the Production of Biofuel Feedstock

  • Agricultural Science
  • Economics


First-generation grain ethanol biofuel has affected the historical excess capacity problem in U.S. agriculture. Second-generation cellulosic ethanol biofuel has had difficulty achieving cost-competitiveness. Third-generation drop-in biofuels are under development. If lignocellulosic biomass from perennial grasses becomes the feedstock of choice for second- and third-generation biorefineries, an integrated system could evolve in which a biorefinery directly manages feedstock production, harvest, storage, and delivery. Modeling was conducted to determine the potential economic benefits from an integrated system. Relatively low-cost public policies that could be implemented to facilitate economic efficiency are proposed.

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