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Title: Opportunities and Challenges in the Design and Analysis of Biomass Supply Chains

The biomass supply chain is one of the most critical elements of large-scale bioenergy production and in many cases a key barrier for procuring initial funding for new developments on specific energy crops. Most productions rely on complex transforming chains linked to feed and food markets. The term 'supply chain' covers various aspects from cultivation and harvesting of the biomass, to treatment, transportation, and storage. After energy conversion, the product must be delivered to final consumption, whether it is in the form of electricity, heat, or more tangible products, such as pellets and biofuels. Effective supply chains are of utmost importance for bioenergy production, as biomass tends to possess challenging seasonal production cycles and low mass, energy and bulk densities. Additionally, the demand for final products is often also dispersed, further complicating the supply chain. The goal of this paper is to introduce key components of biomass supply chains, examples of related modeling applications, and if/how they address aspects related to environmental metrics and management. The paper will introduce a concept of integrated supply systems for sustainable biomass trade and the factors influencing the bioenergy supply chain landscape, including models that can be used to investigate the factors. Our papermore » will also cover various aspects of transportation logistics, ranging from alternative modal and multi-modal alternatives to introduction of support tools for transportation analysis. Lastly, gaps and challenges in supply chain research are identified and used to outline research recommendations for the future direction in this area of study.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [6] ;  [7]
  1. Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  3. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  4. National Inst. of Agricultural Tecnology, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  5. Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI (United States). Sustainable Futures Inst.
  6. Univ. Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis (Brazil). LabTrans
  7. Lappeenranta Univ. of Technology, Mikkeli (Finland). LUT Savo Sustainable Technologies
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; CBET-1140152
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Management
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 56; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0364-152X
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
US National Science Foundation (NSF); USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES Bioenergy; Supply chain; Transportation; Logistics; Sustainability; Pan American