Next Article in Journal
Equivalent Modeling of Microgrids Based on Optimized Broad Learning System
Previous Article in Journal
Consumer Attitudes to the Smart Home Technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT)
Previous Article in Special Issue
Analyzing the Trade-Offs between Meeting Biorefinery Production Capacity and Feedstock Supply Cost: A Chance Constrained Approach
Article

Optimal N Application Rates on Switchgrass for Producers and a Biorefinery

1
Pilot Flying J, Corporate Office, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
2
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
3
Center for Renewable Carbon, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: José Carlos Magalhães Pires
Energies 2021, 14(23), 7912; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14237912 (registering DOI)
Received: 15 September 2021 / Revised: 8 November 2021 / Accepted: 18 November 2021 / Published: 25 November 2021
This study analyzes the effects of N fertilizer application rates on profitability of growing switchgrass and using the feedstock in a pyrolysis biorefinery facility to create a source of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply in Tennessee. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a perennial bunchgrass native to North America with traits suitable for biofuel and co-product production. Previous chemical analysis has shown that ash content in switchgrass is related to the amount of nitrogen applied to the field, while at the biorefinery level, the percentage ash content reduces the biorefinery fuel output. To obtain optimal nitrogen (N) application rates for the switchgrass producers and the biorefinery, a two-part analysis is employed. First, a partial budgeting profitability analysis is conducted for this cropping enterprise at the farm-gate level without considering downstream implications of biomass quality, i.e., ash content. Second, the effects of higher ash content as a percentage of the feedstock on biorefinery output are analyzed. Results show farm-gate profit is maximized when N fertilizer is applied at 111 kg/ha, while as a result of increased production levels and decreased percentage ash content, biorefinery profit is maximized when N is applied at 157 kg/ha. Lower ash could lead to premium prices paid to switchgrass producers if higher quality feedstock were to be demanded as part of an integrated biofuel industry. View Full-Text
Keywords: switchgrass; ash content; optimal nitrogen; farmer; biorefinery switchgrass; ash content; optimal nitrogen; farmer; biorefinery
MDPI and ACS Style

Robertson, K.A.; English, B.C.; Clark, C.D.; Thompson, J.M.; Jensen, K.L.; Menard, R.J.; Labbé, N. Optimal N Application Rates on Switchgrass for Producers and a Biorefinery. Energies 2021, 14, 7912. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14237912

AMA Style

Robertson KA, English BC, Clark CD, Thompson JM, Jensen KL, Menard RJ, Labbé N. Optimal N Application Rates on Switchgrass for Producers and a Biorefinery. Energies. 2021; 14(23):7912. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14237912

Chicago/Turabian Style

Robertson, Keven A., Burton C. English, Christopher D. Clark, Jada M. Thompson, Kimberly L. Jensen, Robert J. Menard, and Nicole Labbé. 2021. "Optimal N Application Rates on Switchgrass for Producers and a Biorefinery" Energies 14, no. 23: 7912. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14237912

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop