In order to assess the many facets of a future biofuels industry, EBI researchers are developing new analytical tools and models for public use. These helpful resources will assist farmers, policymakers, and industry analysts in their evaluations of agricultural needs, production and profit potential, and capital investment. Inputs and impacts will be critical to the success of second-generation renewable energy, and market models will be essential to predicting outcomes.


This calculator is based on research conducted by Prof. Madhu Khanna and Dr. Haixiao Huang at the Energy Biosciences Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The web interface has been developed by Centrec Consulting.


The Feedstock Cost and Profitability (FCAP) Calculator provides an estimate of the breakeven price needed to cover the costs of producing biomass from alternative feedstocks. These include crop residues from corn and energy crops like miscanthus, switchgrass, mixed grasses and hybrid poplar. The breakeven price includes the cost of two alternative types of land that could be used to produce the energy crops, marginal land and cropland. Specifically, this calculator computes the minimum price per ton of biomass crop that would be needed to cover all the costs of producing the biomass. In the case of energy crops grown on cropland, this includes the foregone income by converting cropland to energy crops, while in the case of energy crops grown on marginal land it includes the county soil rental rate for the Conservation Reserve Program in that county as an indicator of the cost of land.

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