Development of a simulation model of biomass supply chain for biofuel production

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Biofuel production from renewable biomass has experienced increased interest in order to reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil and reduce carbon emissions. Concerns regarding cost efficiency and environmental problems result in significant challenges that hinder the increased biofuel production from renewable biomass. This paper describes the development of a simulation model with an easy-to-use graphical user interface for the biofuel supply chain. The model considers key supply chain activities including biomass harvesting/processing, transportation, and storage. The model uses the delivered feedstock cost, energy consumption, and GHG emissions as system performance criteria. The utility of the supply chain simulation model is demonstrated by considering a biomass supply chain for a biofuel facility in the lower peninsula of Michigan. The results show that the model is a useful tool for supply chain management, including selection of the optimal biofuel facility location, logistics design, inventory management, and information exchange.

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© 2012 Elsevier. Publisher’s version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2012.02.006

Publication Title

Renewable Energy