Peanut Based Biodiesel Production in Georgia: An Economic Feasibility Study

Dustin Hogan, Anoop Desai, Valentin Soloiu


An increased emphasis on renewable energy in recent years stems from diminishing supplies of fossil fuels. Add to that an ever-increasing global demand for energy and the conditions for a sustained push towards alternative, renewable forms of energy are clearly present. Biodiesel can be regarded as one such source of alternate energy. It is a renewable diesel fuel substitute that can be manufactured from a variety of naturally occurring oils and fats, primarily through the process of trans-esterification. Peanuts constitute one of the main sources of biodiesel. From the national perspective, Georgia is leading state in the country for producing peanuts.  It accounts for approximately 45 percent of the crop's national acreage and production. Last year Georgia farmers harvested 755,000 acres of peanuts, for a yield of 2.2 billion pounds (EPA, 2010). Southern Georgia is the most productive region due to its coastal plain region, which runs from Columbus through Macon to Augusta. However, for mainstream adoption of biodiesel to be successful, the economic case for production needs to be examined carefully. This paper analyzes and presents the economic feasibility of biodiesel production, with a focus on southeast Georgia.

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