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Title:Farmers' attitudes and barriers towards the production of cellulosic bioenergy crops in the Midwestern U.S.
Author(s):Leibensperger, Carrie Jill
Advisor(s):Cai, Ximing; Ellison, Brenna
Department / Program:Civil & Environmental Eng
Discipline:Civil Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):bioenergy, stakeholder synergy, survey
Abstract:While understanding individual stakeholders’ perspectives on the adoption and conversion to a biofuel-based landscape has been the subject of many previous studies, there has been relatively little attention given to understanding the many stakeholders involved in biofuel development, and how the interaction between these stakeholders could help influence the widespread adoption of biofuel production. This thesis analyzes the key stakeholder interactions involved in biofuel development utilizing various data sources including survey results and empirical and theoretical analyses. We review a number of surveys, research papers, and literature reviews on different aspects of biofuel development such as land use choices, biorefinery and transportation, infrastructure development, consumer priorities, environment impacts, etc. Following that, we apply a stakeholder synergy approach that synthesizes typical responses of stakeholders, such as producers, consumers, biorefineries, rural communities, and the government and how these responses influence the decisions of multiple stakeholders and the overall system performance. Based on the findings of inadequate stakeholder synergy, we conduct a new survey among farmers in the Midwestern US that incorporates additional aspects on farmer relationships with other key stakeholders. Following that, this thesis applies logistical regression analysis of survey results to determine the correlation between farmer characteristics and preferences, as well as their willingness to adopt bioenergy crops in practice. We find that farmers are still largely unfamiliar with perennial grasses as a form of bioenergy, and therefore, communication through preferred channels is crucial to disseminate valuable information on the benefits of bioenergy crops. Additionally, we find that higher levels of perceived community support of energy crops are linked to higher levels of willingness to grow perennial grasses like switchgrass, miscanthus, and sorghum. These findings will help spur policy developments to generate synergy between stakeholders for biofuel development.
Issue Date:2020-07-23
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/108727
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Carrie Jill Leibensperger
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-10-07
Date Deposited:2020-08


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