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A Forest-to-Product Biomass Supply Chain in the Pacific Northwest, USA: A Multi-Product Approach

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

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 34(1): 109-124. (doi: 10.13031/aea.12384) @2018
Authors:   Michael David Berry, John Sessions
Keywords:   Biomass supply, Biomass products, Facility location, Tactical planning, Transportable plants.


. A comprehensive biomass supply chain landscape model is presented to provide an analysis of transportable biomass conversion facility design and evaluate its potential economic viability. This study focuses on the generation of a tactical-based landscape model to optimize biomass extraction, transportation, conversion and product production within a market system. The model considers various pathways including supply options at landings (burn, grind, chip, bale), centralized landings (grind/chip), biomass conversion facilities (biochar, briquettes, torrefied wood) and delivery to final market. The model solves a multi-period, multi commodity, multi-echelon combinatorial problem to maximize net present value using a genetic algorithm. The landscape is evaluated over a one year planning horizon with monthly time steps simulating a transportable conversion facility mobilization cycle. A hypothetical biochar facility located in Lakeview, Oregon was used as a case study. A sequence of scenarios are used to vary system inputs (logistics, product pricing and moisture management strategies) to put bounds around system viability. The results provide an economic framework to view the Pacific Northwest forest harvest residues processing, conversion and transportation supply chain options. System viability is largely dependent on market pricing, plant assumptions and conversion estimates while processing and transportation logistics are smaller, but important contributors for small scale biomass conversion faculty design configurations.

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