Tree crops: financial and agricultural yields?

This data-file compiles the estimated calorific and financial yields of tree crops versus conventional crops such as corn and soybean. There is strong economic potential to produce food while absorbing CO2 in trees,  although calorific  yields are 50-90% lower.

On average, conventional agricultural will yield high calorific yields of 5-15M kcal and moderate value of $1,000 per acre, after decades of agricultural improvements.

Heavily ‘farmed’ tree crops, such as almond and pistachio will have calorific yields in the low end of this range, but generate 5-10x more value per acre.

Less intensively farmed tree crops will produce 1-2M kcal per acre, but their value is nevertheless around 2x higher than conventional agriculture.

Species-by-species considerations are discussed in the data-file.

Vertical greenhouses: the economics?

This data-file models the economics of vertical greenhouses, an emerging method for growing greens, fruits and vegetables close to the consumer, in large multi-story facilities, lit by LED lighting.

The economics can be attractive, with 10% IRRs in our base case condition, off 50kg/m2/year yields and $7.5/kg produce pricing.

However the CO2 intensity will depend heavily upon the CO2 intensity of the underlying grid,  as our numbers assume 1,000kWh/m2/year of LED light is required.

Data in or models are sourced from technical papers, which are also summarized in the final three tabs of the model.

CO2 from US bio-ethanol plants?

This data-file tabulates the CO2 emissions from US bioethanol plants, which produce around 1Mbpd of liquid fuels, with an average CO2 intensity of 85kg/boe. In addition, we estimate 160kg/boe of CO2 are emitted in producing US corn, so bio-ethanol has a total CO2 intensity of 245kg/boe (c40% less than conventional oil products).

Our data are based on granular disclosures from 170 separate facilities, which have reported to the EPA and EIA disclosures. Hence we can screen more and less CO2-intensive States and Companies.

Covered companies, ranked by ethanol capacity, include Poet, Valero, Great Plains, Koch, Marathon and White Energy.

Restoring soil carbon: the economics?

This model illustrates the economics for conservation agriculture, restoring soil carbon to improve agricultural yields, while also sequestering 5-30T of CO2 per acre per year.

Agricultural economics are transformed from marginal to material, as yields improve 10-20% and costs fall 36-73%, including the potential elimination of fertilizer application.

Please download the model to stress-test input assumptions into corn prices, fertilizer prices, diesel prices and CO2 prices; as well as yields and soil carbon uptake rates.

Make CO2 into valuable products?

This data-file is a screen of 27 companies, which are turning CO2 into valuable products, such as next-generation plastics, foams, concretes, specialty chemicals and agricultural products.

For each company, we have assessed the commercial potential, technical readiness, partners, size, geography and other key parameters. 13 companies have very strong commercial potential. 10 concepts are technically ready (up from 8 as assessed in mid-2019),  6 are near-commercial (up from 5 in mid-2019), while 13 are earlier-stage.

A detailed breakdown is also provided for the opportunity to use CO2 enhancing the yields of commercial greenhouses (chart below).

The featured companies include c21 start-ups. But leading listed companies include BP (as a venture partner), Chevron Phillips, Covestro, Repsol, Shell, TOTAL (as a venture partner) and Saudi Aramco.

Copyright: Thunder Said Energy, 2022.