Economic and Life-Cycle Assessment Modeling of Biofuel Policy.

EPA Grant Number: F6C10794
Title: Economic and Life-Cycle Assessment Modeling of Biofuel Policy.
Investigators: Jones, Andrew D
Institution: University of California - Berkeley
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: September 1, 2006 through August 1, 2009
Project Amount: $111,172
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2006) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice , Academic Fellowships


The increased use of agricultural products and residues for energy services and industrial materials offers a number of potential benefits to society including pollution prevention, climate change mitigation, energy security, and economic development. However, the magnitude of these benefits is highly dependent upon the particular production and conversion processes utilized. Furthermore, specific policies aimed at encouraging biofuels and bio-based products are born out in agriculture and energy markets, which are characterized by highly fungible resources. Thus, policies that impact these markets are likely to yield complex substitutions which may undermine or enhance policy goals. The goal of this project is to develop a modeling tool for evaluating biofuel and bio-based product substitution policy that accounts for multiple production pathways as well as market-based substitutions.


The basic approach will be to synthesize economic equilibrium modeling, which can capture dynamic changes in production processes and resource utilization that result from policy intervention, with life-cycle assessment methods, which attach environmental and social costs to the various processes being considered. The policy scenarios will range from direct substitution mandates to subsidies and taxes, as well as regulatory constraints and green certification.

Expected Results:

I hope to identify policies which offer cost-effective greenhouse gas mitigation and pollution reduction while maintaining or enhancing ancillary objectives such as economic development and energy security.

Supplemental Keywords:

biofuel, bio-based, biomass, bioenergy, agriculture, greenhouse gas, climate change mitigation, sustainable transportation, economic development, energy security, renewable fuel, market-based, policy analysis, carbon tax, life-cycle assessment, lca, general equilibrium model, partial equilibrium model, petroleum, fossil fuel, land use,, RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, Air, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Economics, decision-making, Atmosphere, Economics & Decision Making, environmental monitoring, biofuel policy, economic benefits, economic incentives, cost/benefit analysis, environmental policy, life cycle assessment, bioeconomic model, economic equilibrium modeling

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2007
  • 2008
  • Final