The objective of this paper is to reveal to what degree biobased jet fuels (biojet) can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the U.S. aviation sector. A model of the supply and demand chain of biojet involving farmers, biorefineries, airlines, and policymakers is developed by considering factors that drive the decisions of actors (i.e., decision-makers and stakeholders) in the life cycle stages. Two kinds of feedstock are considered: oil-producing feedstock (i.e., camelina and algae) and lignocellulosic biomass (i.e., corn stover, switchgrass, and short rotation woody crops). By factoring in farmer/feedstock producer and biorefinery profitability requirements and risk attitudes, land availability and suitability, as well as a time delay and technological learning factor, a more realistic estimate of the level of biojet supply and emissions reduction can be developed under different oil price assumptions. Factors that drive biojet GHG emissions and unit production costs from each feedstock are identified and quantified. Overall, this study finds that at likely adoption rates biojet alone would not be sufficient to achieve the aviation emissions reduction target. In 2050, under high oil price scenario assumption, GHG emissions can be reduced to a level ranging from 55 to 92%, with a median value of 74%, compared to the 2005 baseline level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry