EBI Personnel Directory Khanna, Madhu
Dr. Khanna is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research specialties include technology adoption and voluntary approaches to pollution control; welfare analysis of alternative policy instruments for environmental protection; economic, land use and environmental implications of biofuels; and policies for carbon sequestration.
Her honors have included the Arnold O. Beckman Research Award of the UIUC Research Board, and the Hughes Teaching Enhancement Award. She is a member of the Academy of Teaching Excellence at UIUC, Teacher Fellow of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, and University Scholar at the University of Illinois. Dr. Khanna is also a member of the Science Advisory Board Environmental Economics Committee for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
This group is creating a comprehensive framework to analyze the socioeconomic, biophysical, and environmental impacts of biofuel production at an economy-wide level, while incorporating detailed spatial heterogeneity at a local and regional scale. This framework will have the flexibility to be modified as new knowledge and insights emerge from the field and laboratory studies. The analysis provides policy makers and analysts with a scientific basis and a methodology to analyze the impacts of a range of public policies, including gasoline taxes, biofuel subsidies, carbon payments, and reduction in tariffs on imported biofuels.
Braden worked to identify the mix of pathways that best balance economic and environmental considerations. His group applied a model that separates the world into four regions, each different in terms of biofuels, feedstocks, water quality, policies, and costs. From this analysis, decisions on the most efficient mix of biofuels and feedstocks, with sensitivity to policy measures and technological change, can be made.
Investors in cellulosic biofuel processing face high capital and start-up costs, particularly the early entrants to the industry. Commercialization will require providing the necessary economic, legal, and/or political incentives for fuel producers to make significant capital investments in building processing facilities, and farmers to begin growing feedstocks to supply them. This project is analyzing loan guarantee programs, designing innovative insurance programs, and evaluating the potential for private market derivatives that would provide potential refiners with funding sources and risk management tools to encourage investment. Government loan guarantees, insurance programs, and private market derivative instruments are being studied as options to achieve targeted production capacity levels for the industry to meet RFS2 mandate levels within the next 5 years.