Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

First Advisor

Matthew J. Darr


With second generation biofuels approaching commercial scale production, a large fleet of harvesting equipment will be required in order to meet feedstock demand. Agricultural residues, such as corn stover, have been recognized as potential feedstocks, especially in the Midwestern United States. Harvesting of these residues will require significant logistics planning and implementation to harvest high quality material in a relatively short period of time. An integrated harvest supply chain will be required to incorporate the stages of material harvest, storage, and transportation.

For a commercial scale biorefinery capable of producing 114 million liters (30 million gallons) on an annual basis, a harvest region of nearly 77,000 ha (190,000 acre) will be required. A multi-pass harvest system has been identified as a potential method for collecting material. In this process, corn stover is windrowed, baled, and collected following grain harvest. Material is then stored until required for processing at the biorefinery.

The objective of this research was to investigate the techno-economics of the in-field harvest operations using production-scale data collected from a central Iowa cellulosic ethanol biorefinery. Using this information, a series of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were developed to increase machinery productivity and efficiency. These KPI metrics were used to establish operating baselines and identify areas of potential improvement.

Copyright Owner

Jeremy Brue



File Format


File Size

218 pages