UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into biofuel fuelstock production at the UBC Farm : sustainability project report Pandit, Milind; Pfanner, Tyler; Volkmann, Tobias


The UBC Farm is interested growing woody biomass within existing hedgerows and along farm margins, to supply biofuel fuelstock to the Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility (BRDF) on campus. This report investigates the available land area as well as the most suitable fuelstock crop for the UBC Farm. Furthermore, this report investigates the viability of the project using a triple bottom line analysis, taking into account the economic, environmental, and social factors involved. Through the investigation, it was determined that approximately 0.75 hectares of land is available for this project, and that hybrid poplar would be the most suitable fuelstock crop. Economically, the proposed project was determined to create no signficant profit, creating only $710 profit over the proposed 20 year life cycle. Environmentally, the project was determined to have no significant effect on greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions or clean energy produced, reducing GHG emissions by only 2650 kg/year and producing only 9000 kWh/year of clean energy (less than 0.01% of UBCs annual energy consumption). However, there are significant ecosystem and land use benefits to the project, such as decreasing soil erosion, ooding prevention, and creating habitat for local animals. The project was determined to be most beneficial from a social aspect, by increasing awareness about biofuels, creating educational and research opportunities, and promoting UBCs reputation and involvement in sustain- ability. Based on our investigation, we recommend that the UBC Farm go ahead with this project, not for the financial or environmental benefits, but for the great social benefits, as a demonstration, learning, and outreach project. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada