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Title: Impact of the biorefinery size on the logistics of corn stover supply – A scenario analysis

Abstract

In this study, three scenarios are considered to quantify the impact of the biorefinery size on the required biomass logistical resources. The biorefinery scenarios include small scale (175 dt/day)-SS, medium scale (520 dt/day)-MS and large scale (860 dt/day)-LS. These scenarios are compared against the following logistical resources (1) harvest area and contracted fields, (2) logistics equipment fleet and the workforce to run this fleet and (3) intermediate storage sites and their biomass inventory levels. To this end, the IBSAL-MC simulation model is applied to a corn stover logistics system in Southwestern Ontario. The obtained results show (1) the harvest area and the number of contracted fields increase by 65% and 78% from the SS scenario to the MS and LS scenarios, respectively, (2) the average biomass delivered costs are estimated to be $82.09, $87.49 and $93.75/dry tonne in the SS, MS and LS scenarios. The increase in the capital costs to develop a dedicated logistics equipment fleet are estimated to be far greater than the increase in the delivered costs as the size of the biorefinery increases. The upfront capital costs are estimated to be 6.72 dollars, 21.83 and 35.51 million in these scenarios. To run the logistics equipment fleetmore » efficiently, 37, 136 and 235 well-trained operators are required in the SS, MS ad LS scenarios, respectively, and (3) the inventory level and the land requirement for storage in the MS and LS scenarios are estimated to be 225% and 425% greater than those of the SS scenario. The sensitivity analysis indicates that the logistical resources are highly sensitive to corn yield and farm participation rate. Overall, this study shows the importance of considering the size of the required logistical resources and the associated level of logistical complexity in evaluating the economic viability of a biorefinery project.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [1]
  1. Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (Canada)
  2. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1357969
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1414494
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 198; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0306-2619
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; logistics; corn stover; biorefinery; simulation; cellulosic sugar; IBSAL-MC

Citation Formats

Wang, Yu, Ebadian, Mahmood, Sokhansanj, Shahab, Oak Ridge National Lab., Webb, Erin, and Lau, Anthony. Impact of the biorefinery size on the logistics of corn stover supply – A scenario analysis. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.03.056.
Wang, Yu, Ebadian, Mahmood, Sokhansanj, Shahab, Oak Ridge National Lab., Webb, Erin, & Lau, Anthony. Impact of the biorefinery size on the logistics of corn stover supply – A scenario analysis. United States. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.03.056.
Wang, Yu, Ebadian, Mahmood, Sokhansanj, Shahab, Oak Ridge National Lab., Webb, Erin, and Lau, Anthony. Thu . "Impact of the biorefinery size on the logistics of corn stover supply – A scenario analysis". United States. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.03.056. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1357969.
@article{osti_1357969,
title = {Impact of the biorefinery size on the logistics of corn stover supply – A scenario analysis},
author = {Wang, Yu and Ebadian, Mahmood and Sokhansanj, Shahab and Oak Ridge National Lab. and Webb, Erin and Lau, Anthony},
abstractNote = {In this study, three scenarios are considered to quantify the impact of the biorefinery size on the required biomass logistical resources. The biorefinery scenarios include small scale (175 dt/day)-SS, medium scale (520 dt/day)-MS and large scale (860 dt/day)-LS. These scenarios are compared against the following logistical resources (1) harvest area and contracted fields, (2) logistics equipment fleet and the workforce to run this fleet and (3) intermediate storage sites and their biomass inventory levels. To this end, the IBSAL-MC simulation model is applied to a corn stover logistics system in Southwestern Ontario. The obtained results show (1) the harvest area and the number of contracted fields increase by 65% and 78% from the SS scenario to the MS and LS scenarios, respectively, (2) the average biomass delivered costs are estimated to be $82.09, $87.49 and $93.75/dry tonne in the SS, MS and LS scenarios. The increase in the capital costs to develop a dedicated logistics equipment fleet are estimated to be far greater than the increase in the delivered costs as the size of the biorefinery increases. The upfront capital costs are estimated to be 6.72 dollars, 21.83 and 35.51 million in these scenarios. To run the logistics equipment fleet efficiently, 37, 136 and 235 well-trained operators are required in the SS, MS ad LS scenarios, respectively, and (3) the inventory level and the land requirement for storage in the MS and LS scenarios are estimated to be 225% and 425% greater than those of the SS scenario. The sensitivity analysis indicates that the logistical resources are highly sensitive to corn yield and farm participation rate. Overall, this study shows the importance of considering the size of the required logistical resources and the associated level of logistical complexity in evaluating the economic viability of a biorefinery project.},
doi = {10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.03.056},
journal = {Applied Energy},
number = C,
volume = 198,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 23 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Thu Mar 23 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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  • Supply of corn stover to produce heat and power for a typical 170 dam3 dry mill ethanol plant is proposed. The corn ethanol plant requires 5.6 MW of electricity and 52.3 MW of process heat, which creates the annual stover demand of as much as 140 Gg. The corn stover supply system consists of collection, preprocessing, transportation and on-site fuel storage and preparation to produce heat and power for the ethanol plant. Economics of the entire supply system was conducted using the Integrated Biomass Supply Analysis and Logistics (IBSAL) simulation model. Corn stover was delivered in three formats (square bales,more » dry chops and pellets) to the combined heat and power plant. Delivered cost of biomass ready to be burned was calculated at 73 $ Mg-1 for bales, 86 $ Mg-1 for pellets and 84 $ Mg-1 for field chopped biomass. Among the three formats of stover supply systems, delivered cost of pelleted biomass was the highest due to high pelleting cost. Bulk transport of biomass in the form of chops and pellets can provide a promising future biomass supply logistic system in the US, if the costs of pelleting and transport are minimized.« less
  • The overall goal of this research is to investigate the logistics of agricultural biomass in Ontario, Canada using the Integrated Biomass Supply Analysis and Logistics Model (IBSAL). The supply of corn stover to the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) power plant in Lambton is simulated. This coal-fired power plant is currently not operating and there are no active plans by OPG to fuel it with biomass. Rather, this scenario is considered only to demonstrate the application of the IBSAL Model to this type of scenario. Here, five scenarios of delivering corn stover to the Lambton Generating Station (GS) power plant inmore » Lambton Ontario are modeled: (1) truck transport from field edge to OPG (base scenario); (2) farm to central storage located on the highway, then truck transport bales to OPG; (3) direct truck transport from farm (no-stacking) to OPG; (4) farm to a loading port on Lake Huron and from there on a barge to OPG; and (5) farm to a railhead and then to OPG by rail.« less
  • This paper presents a techno-economic analysis of corn stover fired process heating (PH) and the combined heat and power (CHP) generation systems for a typical corn ethanol plant (ethanol production capacity of 170 dam3). Discounted cash flow method was used to estimate both the capital and operating costs of each system and compared with the existing natural gas fired heating system. Environmental impact assessment of using corn stover, coal and natural gas in the heat and/or power generation systems was also evaluated. Coal fired process heating (PH) system had the lowest annual operating cost due to the low fuel cost,more » but had the highest environmental and human toxicity impacts. The proposed combined heat and power (CHP) generation system required about 137 Gg of corn stover to generate 9.5 MW of electricity and 52.3 MW of process heat with an overall CHP efficiency of 83.3%. Stover fired CHP system would generate an annual savings of 3.6 M$ with an payback period of 6 y. Economics of the coal fired CHP system was very attractive compared to the stover fired CHP system due to lower fuel cost. But the greenhouse gas emissions per Mg of fuel for the coal fired CHP system was 32 times higher than that of stover fired CHP system. Corn stover fired heat and power generation system for a corn ethanol plant can improve the net energy balance and add environmental benefits to the corn to ethanol biorefinery.« less
  • Biomass preprocessing and pretreatment technologies such as size reduction and chemical preconditioning are aimed at reducing the cost of ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass. Size reduction is an energy-intensive biomass preprocessing unit operation. In this study, switchgrass, wheat straw, and corn stover were chopped in an instrumented knife mill to evaluate size reduction energy and corresponding particle size distribution as determined with a standard forage sieve analyzer. Direct mechanical power inputs were determined using a dedicated data acquisition system for knife mill screen openings from 12.7 to 50.8 mm, rotor speeds between 250 and 500 rpm, and mass feed ratesmore » from 1 to 11 kg/min. A speed of 250 rpm gave optimum performance of the mill. Optimum feed rates for 25.4 mm screen and 250 rpm were 7.6, 5.8, and 4.5 kg/min for switchgrass, wheat straw, and corn stover, respectively. Total specific energy (MJ/Mg) was defined as the size reduction energy required to operate the knife mill plus that imparted to the biomass. Effective specific energy was defined as the energy imparted to the biomass. For these conditions, total specific energies were 27.3, 37.9, and 31.9 MJ/Mg and effective specific energies were 10.1, 15.5, and 3.2 MJ/Mg for switchgrass, wheat straw, and corn stover, respectively. These results demonstrated that biomass selection affects the size reduction energy, even for biomass with similar features. Second-order polynomial equations for the total specific energy requirement fitted well (R2 > 0.95) as a function of knife mill screen size, mass feed rate, and speed for biomass materials tested. The Rosin-Rammler equation fitted the cumulative undersize mass of switchgrass, wheat straw, and corn stover chop passed through ASABE sieves with high R2 (>0.983). Knife mill chopping of switchgrass, wheat straw, and corn stover resulted in particle size distributions classified as 'well-graded strongly fine-skewed mesokurtic', 'well-graded fine-skewed mesokurtic', and 'well-graded fine-skewed mesokurtic', respectively, for small knife mill screen sizes (12.7 to 25.4 mm) and distributions classified as 'well-graded fine-skewed mesokurtic', 'well-graded strongly fine-skewed mesokurtic', and 'well-graded fine-skewed mesokurtic', respectively, for the large screen size (50.8 mm). Total and effective specific energy values per unit size reduction of wheat straw were greater compared to those for switchgrass. Corn stover resulted in reduced total and effective specific energy per unit size reduction compared to wheat straw for the same operating conditions, but higher total specific energy per unit size reduction and lesser effective specific energy per unit size reduction compared to switchgrass. Data on minimized total specific energy with corresponding particle spectra will be useful for preparing feed material with a knife mill for subsequent grinding with finer size reduction devices.« less