Economic optimisation of supply chains

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    This task aimed at developing an optimization model to plan and design biomass supply chains, as driven by an economic criterion, namely the profit generated by operating a conversion unit processing lignocellulosic feedstock. This mathematical supply-chain model integrates and optimizes the logistics system by choosing among different technology and management options including transport routes, storage sites, pre-conditioning and processing technologies (e.g. pelletization or briquetting), harvesting (cutting date or type of technology used), and feedstock type. Transportation distances are calculated with real road data, and the model can deal with certain kinds of uncertainty, including in the demand on bio-based end-products. It runs on a monthly basis and therefore captures the effects of seasonality in feedstock harvesting or product demand.
    The model was used to analyze and assess the economic potential and sustainability in the supply chain given various scenarios in the two major case-studies of the project: the Bourgogne Pellets cooperative developing miscanthus in France, and the Miajadas bio-electricity plant in Spain. The scenarios tested there included the supply of different feedstock types, different end-uses for the produced biomass as well as the deployment of different harvesting, densification and transport technologies for the logistics.

Major outcomes:

  1. Spatially explicit scenarios for feedstock supply (multi-feedstock / multi-level) in the 2 case-studies, as described in the following deliverable for France (miscanthus) and Spain (sorghum, poplar, triticale, wheat straw)
  2. The optimization model is described in this document, and is available on request from its authors for optimizing, analyzing and assessment of activities along the biomass supply chain
  3. Optimal energy crops biomass logistics with respect to economic criteria for the 2 case-studies in Spain and France
  4. Analysis of economic potential and sustainability of improved technologies tested in the project, as summarized in this fact-sheet