Combustion of fossil fuels has added tremendous quantities of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, and the increase will continue over the coming decades considering the increasing global population and standards of living. Biofuel cropping systems are believed to realize GHG emission reductions and the local environmental and societal benefits. However, they must be derived from feedstocks produced with much lower life-cycle GHG emissions than traditional fossil fuels and with little or no competition with food production. Winter safflower is considered a potential feedstock for biodiesel production that can be grown on the Texas High Plains. It requires fewer inputs in terms of irrigation and fertilizer, and could be grown on semi-arid or abandoned land. The purpose of this study is to assess and compare the life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission impacts associated with winter safflower seed-derived biodiesel, and determine the suitability of safflower biodiesel as an energy crop on the Texas High Plains. In addition, this study identifies the parameters that have the greatest impact on GHG emissions and the likelihood that winter safflower would be adopted by farmers on the High Plains. Finally, in order to analyze farmers’ planting decisions corresponding to different carbon policies, a production function of safflower and GHG emissions are developed, as well as a related profit function to evaluate possible incentives to change behaviors.


Downloads Statistics

Download Full History