Abstract for: Systems modeling and analysis for commercial pathways assessment of oil crop based biofuels in Hawaii

A systems-level analysis was conducted to assess the commercialization potential for growing oilseeds and refining the oil into advanced biofuels. A system dynamics model was constructed to be the primary analysis tool employed to evaluate the economic potential for growing oilseeds at a commercial scale and refining the oil into renewable jet fuel and green diesel. Focus was placed on initial penetration into niche markets – ones thought to offer the most favorable economic conditions. Here we use Hawaii as an exemplar of our commercialization analysis approach. If a case for commercialization can be made for one (or several) niche markets, they could serve as nucleation sites for improving production efficiencies and serve as the “jumping-off point” for much more widespread commercialization. Conversely, if it proves difficult to make the case for commercialization within these most-favorable market niches, we will have learned that commercialization is unlikely to be economically viable anywhere at present – and importantly, the analysis will have helped identify the chief obstacles to commercialization and what conditions will be required to change for commercialization to become economically viable in the future.