Analyzing the Economics Values of An Alternative Preprocessing Facility in the Biomass Feedstocks - Biorefinery Supply Chain
It is generally believed that preprocessing procedure can reduce the transportation and storage costs of biomass feedstock for biofuel production by condensing the feedstock’s size. However, the capital costs of preprocessing facilities could be significant in the feedstock logistics system. Applying a GIS and mixed-integer mathematical programming model, this study evaluates the economic values of a preprocessing technology, stretch‐wrap baling, in the biomass feedstock supply chain for a potential commercial-scale switchgrass biorefinery in East Tennessee. Preliminary results suggest that the stretch-wrap baling equipment outperforms the conventional hay harvest methods in terms of total delivered costs. Although the densification process involves additional capital and operation costs, the total delivered costs of switchgrass for a 25- million-gallon per year biorefinery in the preprocessing system is 12% − 21% lower than various logistic methods using conventional hay equipments.
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