Barriers Impacting United States Advanced Biofuel Projects
Withers, Jeremy W.
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Although the 2005 EPAct was enacted to help bolster the emerging biofuel industry, 52% of advanced biofuel projects were closed or shut down by 2015. However, there are no complete lists of barriers that impeded these projects. The goal of this study was to develop a framework of barriers impeding success of advanced biofuel projects by conducting a literature review of barriers, spatial analysis of status, survey of barriers, and determination of coproducts and byproducts and their marketing and distribution barriers from the industry stakeholders. The spatial analysis indicated 59 biofuel projects were attempted, and their Eastern and Western location by status was not a barrier. Using Grounded Theory, nine barriers were derived and aggregated in major categories, including product development, strategy, technology, competition, energy costs, funding, government, suppliers, and third-party relations. A contingency analysis was conducted relating their status to internal and external barriers, indicating no relationship between type of closing and type of barrier. Next, the number of barriers was expanded to 23, and a survey was conducted to gain knowledge on these barriers from industry stakeholders. When comparing the barriers by stakeholders, there were differences based on status, type, and technology of the projects. In addition, the survey and discussion identified 79 barriers different across years, type of industry (pilot, demonstration, or commercial), status (open, closed, or planning), and technology (thermochemical, biochemical, or hybrid). Forty-seven coproducts and byproducts and many unknown barriers to their marketability and distribution were determined and ranked by primary and secondary barriers. These extensive lists of barriers and coproducts will aid future biofuels projects in their planning, research, and development stages.
- Masters Theses