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Economic Assessment Of Coal And Biomass To Liquid Fuels In Central Appalachia, USA

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1008699.(doi:10.13031/2013.29707)
Authors:   Jinzhuo Wu, Jingxin Wang, Qingzheng Cheng, Joseph McNeel
Keywords:   coal, biomass, liquid fuels, required selling price, mathematical programming

Liquid fuels from coal and biomass have the potential to reduce petroleum fuel use and CO2 emission in the U.S. transportation sector. A multi-equation model was developed to assess the economics of a coal/biomass-to-liquids (CBTL) fuel plant in the central Appalachian region. Specifically, the objective was to minimize the total annual cost subject to a series of regional supply, demand, and other constraints. The model was developed and solved using General Algebraic Modeling System/Cplex solver. Model inputs include coal and biomass availability, biomass handling system type, plant investment, production capacity, transportation logistics, and project financing; while outputs include the optimal logistical decision-making together with feedstock requirement, collection, delivery, and liquid fuel production. The results indicated that the required selling price (RSP) of Fischer-Tropsch (FT) diesel for a 40,000 barrel-per-day CBTL plant with coal/biomass ratio of 85/15 varied between $79.00 bbl-1 and $79.35 bbl-1 using different biomass handling systems. The RSP of FT diesel heavily depended upon plant capacity, capital cost, coal price, and liquid fuel yield. Our findings can help decision-makers evaluate future CBTL development in central Appalachia.

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