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ETHANOL PRODUCTION IN OKLAHOMA By: Andrew Abatiell, Jason Ireland, Joseph Odusina, Daniel Silva Rajoo, Zafar Zaidi Capstone Design Project- University of Oklahoma - Spring 2003 INTRODUCTION Ethanol is being explored as an additive to gasoline that will boost its octane and decrease the pollution output. Currently the possibility of ethanol production is being discussed in Oklahoma due to its vast farmland and variety of crops. The objective of this project is to determine the feasibility of producing ethanol in the state of Oklahoma. The main approach used to solve this problem is the implementation of a mathematical model that uses mathematical optimization to determine the optimal feed stock, location, net present worth, and many other aspects of the process. The data needed for this model was capital investment, operating costs, feed stock availability, transportation costs, and storage costs. One of the main reasons for the need of ethanol is due to Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) phase-out. The United States has been using MTBE as an additive in gasoline to boost the octane level of gasoline since the 1970s. Unfortunately, the accelerated use of MTBE has had adverse effects on the environment. Many hailed MTBE as a solution for cleaner air in the United States, but adequate studies were not done on its usage before it was implemented. One of the problems with MTBE is that it can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream of whoever comes in contact with it. MTBE can also contaminate groundwater because it takes a long time to degrade. This longer degradation time will allow MTBE to contaminate groundwater supplies over large areas of land very easily. The Oklahoma government has realized that ethanol is the additive of the future and has passed legislation that will make it easier to pursue ethanol production in state. The Oklahoma House Energy and Utility Regulation Committee approved 2 bills that would help pave the way for an ethanol industry. One of the bills establishes an Oklahoma Ethanol Board that consists of 11 members appointed by the governor. The bill states that, “The board would consist of five members engaged in farming, one would represent labor interests, four would represent state petroleum marketers, and one member would be involved in trade and marketing.” The other bill that was passed would simply create a panel that would study the possibility of economic ramifications of producing an ethanol industry in the state.
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MARKET Currently there are 68 ethanol production plants in the United States. The bulk of these plants are concentrated in the mid-west, mainly in the states of Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. In 2002 the United States produced a record of 2.13 billion gallons of ethanol. Locally, Oklahoma is expected to have a high demand for ethanol.
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