Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An Economic Framework for Analyzing Potential Use of Pyrolyzed Coal as a Soil Amendment for Low-Quality Range Soil
by Thapa, Resham B., M.S., University of Wyoming, 2020, 99; 28256365
Abstract (Summary)

Wyoming is the leading producer of coal in the country, most of which comes from the Powder River Basin (PRB). US demand for thermal coal peaked in the year 2008 at 466,319,331 short tons and has since declined to 304,180,569 short tons in the year 2018 due to an increasing abundance of natural gas and renewable energy cost declines (WMA 2019) This study is focused on the alternative use of coal as coal-char for soil amendment. Previous studies of biochar (Jeffery et al. 2011) state that there is increase in overall production levels by 10% with the application of biochar. Continuous use of chemical fertilizers to boost productivity has resulted decrease in soil organic matter (Subehia et al., 2005) and off-farm nutrient leaching. Carbon particles added on soil increases water holding capacity of soil, increases cation exchange capacity, hence, prevent nutrient leaching (Bird et.al 2011).

Pyrolyzed coal generates positive net present value of cash flow over the project period. As expected, the Monte Carlo method for economic risk assessment result show that mean NPV distribution is higher in the treatment plots where manure was added with char products. Moreover, coal-char alone treatment plots are also producing positive NPV. This economic feasibility of coal char for soil amendment can create alternative demand for coal in the market for agriculture implications, which will benefit for the Wyoming economy by creating alternative market for coal. Carbon footprints of coal char seems far less than the thermal coal which ensures environmental benefits.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Coupal, Roger H.
Commitee: Stahl, Peter D., Hansen, Kristiana M.
School: University of Wyoming
Department: Agricultural and Applied Economics
School Location: United States -- Wyoming
Source: MAI 82/7(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Agricultural economics, Agronomy, Soil sciences
Keywords: Biochar, Carbon sequestration, Coal char, Economic analysis, Risk analysis, Soil amendment
Publication Number: 28256365
ISBN: 9798557050968
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