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Economic modeling of woody biomass utilization for bioenergy: a case study in West Virginia

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

Citation:  2011 Louisville, Kentucky, August 7-10, 2011  1111309.(doi:10.13031/2013.37789)
Authors:   Jinzhuo Wu, Jingxin Wang, Damon Hartley, Joseph McNeel
Keywords:   Biofuels, Logging Residue, Renewable Energy, Optimization, Integer Programming

A mixed integer programming model was developed to estimate the delivered cost of woody biomass under different woody biomass handling systems. The objective of the model was to optimize a woody biomass based biofuel facilitys location while minimizing the total annual delivered cost of woody biomass under resource and operational constraints. The model was applied in the state of West Virginia. Results showed that the optimal location for a 900 tonnes of dry woody biomass plant would be at Addison or Grantsville in West Virginia, depending on the system used. For that base-case scenario, the average delivered cost varied from $2.30/GJ to $3.02/GJ among the systems. Sensitivity analysis was performed under different scenarios, including biomass availability and purchasestumpage price, demand, extraction distance, and fuel pricing. The delivered cost was mostly affected by woody biomass demand at the plant. Skidding distance had the least impact on the delivered cost. The results would be useful in facilitating the research and economic development of woody biomass utilization for bioenergy in the region.

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