Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Stephen Gent


allocation, crop residues and rotation, global warming, acidification and eutrophication potential, life cycle assessment (lca), torrefaction


The use of renewable energy sources has been increasing in the recent years due to population growth and environmental concerns. Biomass is a promising energy source that can be used to produce biofuels or torrefied pellets. Torrefied biomass may be used in power plants, industrial and residential heating, feedstocks for gasification, air and water filtrating, and soil amendment. The interest of torrefied pellets as energy sources for various applications has been increased in the recent years due to the concerns about energy security and environmental issues. This study focuses on the economic and environmental assessment of agricultural feedstocks like corn stover, wheat straw, and soybean residues capable of producing torrefied pellets in the Eastern & Central South Dakota, Brookings. The techno-economic and environmental analysis of these feedstocks is required to understand the supply chain. GaBi ts – Life Cycle Assessment software, version 6.115 was used to analyze the potential environmental impacts of crop residues from the viewpoint of farmers and torrefaction facility. This study recommends farmers to follow corn-soybean rotation to have both the economic and environmental benefits. This study also shows that, when done responsibly, residue-based torrefaction reduce dependence on coal. Also, one of the significant findings from this LCA study is that crop residues are beneficial to crop grains in terms of global warming potential but have higher environmental emissions in terms of acidification and eutrophication potential.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Crop residues -- South Dakota.
Biomass energy.
Renewable energy sources.


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Rights Statement

In Copyright