Publication Detail

Spatially Explicit Projection of Biofuel Supply for Meeting Renewable Fuel Standard

UCD-ITS-RP-12-83

Reprint

Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

Available online at: DOI: 10.3141/2287-09

Suggested Citation:
Parker, Nathan C. (2012) Spatially Explicit Projection of Biofuel Supply for Meeting Renewable Fuel Standard. Transportation Research Record 2287, 72 - 79

The revised Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) in the United States mandates significant growth in the biofuels industry with 36 billion gallons by 2022. Volumes are mandated for each year from 2009 to 2022. In this study, the author simulated the industry required to meet the 2018 mandate, with special attention to the geographic layout. The methodology built a series of scenarios by varying market and technology parameters that influence the design of the biofuel industry. The industry was then modeled with an integrated supply chain model that was spatially explicit. This model described the optimal behavior of a biofuel industry given the constraints of fuel demand, biofuel selling price, and feedstock supply. All the analyzed scenarios achieved the 2018 RFS2 mandate at wholesale fuel prices between 2.65 and3.78/gal of gasoline-equivalent biofuels. Between 57.7 billion and140.7 billion in capital investment was required to bring the fuels to market. The results were most sensitive to the level of technological optimism and the access to waste and residue biomass resources.