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Modeled economic potential for Eucalyptus spp. production for jet fuel additives in the United States...

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Biomass and Bioenergy
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Feedstock price and availability remain a barrier to adoption of cellulosic biofuels. Eucalyptus spp., can produce an energy-dense terpene suitable for high-density synthetic hydrocarbon-type fuel (grade JP-10) production in addition to cellulosic-based feedstock for traditional jet fuels (e.g., grade Jet A) and gasoline. This study modeled economic potential for Eucalyptus to fulfill US fuel markets. Cold-tolerant Eucalyptus was simulated in an annual coppice system for maximized leaf production. Results of the lowest simulated price ($110 t−1) show that within 10 years, there is potential to produce 204 million L yr−1 of fuel, including 51 million L yr−1 of JP-10-type fuel, 75 million L yr−1 of Jet A type fuel, and 77 million L yr−1 of gasoline. These quantities of fuel could be valued at approximately $500 million (USD), with feedstock costs totaling approximately $100 million (USD). Longer-term markets (to 20 years) or higher priced (to $220 t−1) scenarios show potential for more production. Research to determine potential for genetic improvement, delivered fuel costs, and biorefinery siting near existing infrastructure is recommended.