AuthorRuskin, Helen Ann Kassander.
Arid regions agriculture -- Economic aspects -- Mathematical models.
Energy crops -- Economic aspects -- Mathematical models.
Energy crops -- Economic aspects -- Arizona -- Mathematical models.
Biomass energy industries -- Economic aspects -- Mathematical models.
Arid regions agriculture -- Economic aspects -- Arizona -- Mathematical models.
Biomass energy -- Economic aspects -- Arizona -- Mathematical models.
Committee ChairPingry, David
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe objective of this study is to develop a model to evaluate the economic feasibility of biofuels production, and in particular to isolate the variables crucial to feasibility. The model constructed to define these variables is unique in its ability to accommodate a variety of plants and to integrate all portions of the production process; it was tested on a case study of a Euphorbia lathyris industry. The model minimizes costs of production to determine the best configuration for the industry. Total cost equals the sum of costs incurred in each segment of the process: growth, harvest, transport, and extraction. The solution is determined through a non-linear transportation- transshipment algorithm which describes production as a series of nodes and links. Specific application of the model was analysis of E. lathyris biofuel production in Arizona. Simulations were run examining the sensitivity of biocrude cost to changes in input parameters. Conclusions are summarized as follows. * No change in any single element can reduce final cost sufficiently to enable competitive production in the near future. * The major factor necessary to bring cost into range is improvement in biological yield. Two components of equal importance are tonnage produced per acre and percentage extractables recovered in processing. * Lowering cropping costs provided the most effective improvements of economic inputs. Perennial crops significantly reduced farm costs. * Transportation costs outweighed economies of scale in extraction; extractor location close to crops is more efficient than centralized. The cost minimization model was successfully used to isolate the critical factors for an E. lathyris industry in an arid region. Results determine that this industry would not be competitive in Arizona without dramatic improvements in yields and moderate changes in a combination of input costs. Viability is critically dependent on improvements in tonnage yield produced per acre and percent extractables recovered.
Degree NamePh. D.
Degree ProgramArid Lands Resource Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY - ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY: A PRODUCTION POSSIBILITY'S FRONTIER ANALYSIS OF NON-POINT POLLUTION CONTROL IN OREGON.STELLERN, MICHAEL JOSEPH. (The University of Arizona., 1983)The purpose of this dissertation is to derive a production possibilities curve illustrating alternative choices of agricultural production and rural environmental quality for the Willow Creek area of the Columbia Plateau in Oregon. The research was done as a supplement to the USDA Oregon Rivers Cooperative River Basin Nonpoint Pollution Study. The dissertation is primarily a methodology which can be expanded to address similar trade-offs between conflicting goals. The study initially presented a methodology for measuring environmental quality. A hierarchical structure was introduced which allowed goals and subgoals to be measured in order of their importance. Linkages among these different goals were also defined. Then a preference function was introduced so that goals could be related to preferences or values. Technical indicators were used to measure how well different practices achieve various goals. Finally a model was developed which maximized the level of environmental quality subject to various profit constraints. The model used mathematical programming to develop a production possibilities frontier giving various choices of economic production and environmental quality.