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Title: Strategic supply system design - a holistic evaluation of operational and production cost for a biorefinery supply chain

Here, pioneer cellulosic biorefineries across the United States rely on a conventional feedstock supply system based on one-year contracts with local growers, who harvest, locally store, and deliver feed-stock in low-density format to the conversion facility. While the conventional system is designed for high biomass yield areas, pilot scale operations have experienced feedstock supply shortages and price volatilities due to reduced harvests and competition from other industries. Regional supply dependency and the inability to actively manage feedstock stability and quality, provide operational risks to the biorefinery, which translate into higher investment risk. The advanced feedstock supply system based on a network of depots can mitigate many of these risks and enable wider supply system benefits. This paper compares the two concepts from a system-level perspective beyond mere logistic costs. It shows that while processing operations at the depot increase feedstock supply costs initially, they enable wider system benefits including supply risk reduction (leading to lower interest rates on loans), industry scale-up, conversion yield improvements, and reduced handling equipment and storage costs at the biorefinery. When translating these benefits into cost reductions per liter of gasoline equivalent (LGE), we find that total cost reductions between -0.46 to -0.21 per LGE formore » biochemical and -0.32 to -0.12 per LGE for thermochemical conversion pathways are possible. Naturally, these system level benefits will differ between individual actors along the feedstock supply chain. Further research is required with respect to depot sizing, location, and ownership structures.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. CH2M, Corvallis, OR (United States)
  4. MindsEye Computing, LLC, Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5100-64728; INL/JOU-15-35678
Journal ID: ISSN 1932-104X
Grant/Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517; AC36-08GO28308
Published Article
Journal Name:
Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 1932-104X
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab., Idaho Falls, ID (United States); National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Bioenergy Technologies Office (EE-3B)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; biorefinery; feedstock logistics; depot; bioeconomy; biofuel; advanced feedstock supply system; Biofuels; Resource mobilization; Supply chain analysis
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1212448; OSTI ID: 1237298; OSTI ID: 1357241