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Title: IEA Bioenergy Task 40Sustainable International Bioenergy Trade:Securing Supply and Demand Country Report 2014—United States

Logistical barrier are tied to feedstock harvesting, collection, storage and distribution. Current crop harvesting machinery is unable to selectively harvest preferred components of cellulosic biomass while maintaining acceptable levels of soil carbon and minimizing erosion. Actively managing biomass variability imposes additional functional requirements on biomass harvesting equipment. A physiological variation in biomass arises from differences in genetics, degree of crop maturity, geographical location, climatic events, and harvest methods. This variability presents significant cost and performance risks for bioenergy systems. Currently, processing standards and specifications for cellulosic feedstocks are not as well-developed as for mature commodities. Biomass that is stored with high moisture content or exposed to moisture during storage is susceptible to spoilage, rotting, spontaneous combustion, and odor problems. Appropriate storage methods and strategies are needed to better define storage requirements to preserve the volume and quality of harvested biomass over time and maintain its conversion yield. Raw herbaceous biomass is costly to collect, handle, and transport because of its low density and fibrous nature. Existing conventional, bale-based handling equipment and facilities cannot cost-effectively deliver and store high volumes of biomass, even with improved handling techniques. Current handling and transportation systems designed for moving woodchips can be inefficient for bioenergymore » processes due to the costs and challenges of transporting, storing, and drying high-moisture biomass. The infrastructure for feedstock logistics has not been defined for the potential variety of locations, climates, feedstocks, storage methods, processing alternatives, etc., which will occur at a national scale. When setting up biomass fuel supply chains, for large-scale biomass systems, logistics are a pivotal part in the system. Various studies have shown that long-distance international transport by ship is feasible in terms of energy use and transportation costs, but availability of suitable vessels and meteorological conditions (e.g., winter time in Scandinavia and Russia) need to be considered. However, local transportation by truck (both in biomass exporting and importing countries) may be a high-cost factor, which can influence the overall energy balance and total biomass costs.« less
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  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency (EE)
Country of Publication:
United States