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Technical and Financial Feasibility Analysis of Distributed Bioprocessing Using Regional Biomass Pre-Processing Centers

Carolan, Joseph E., Joshi, Satish V., Dale, Bruce E.
Journal of agricultural & food industrial organization 2007 v.5 no.2 pp. 29
ammonia, biomass, bioprocessing, biorefining, electricity, environmental impact, farmers, feeds, feedstocks, fuels, market power, supply chain, transportation
Research indicates that large biorefineries capable of handling 5000-10000MT of biomass per day are necessary to achieve process economies. However, such large biorefineries also entail increased costs of biomass transportation and storage, high transaction costs of contracting with a large number of farmers for biomass supply, potential market power issues, and local environmental impacts. We propose a network of regional biomass preprocessing centers (RBPC) that form an extended biomass supply chain feeding into a biorefinery, as a way to address these issues. The RBPC, in its mature form, is conceptualized as a flexible processing facility capable of pre-treating and converting biomass into appropriate feedstocks for a variety of final products such as fuels, chemicals, electricity, and animal feeds. We evaluate the technical and financial feasibility of a simple RBPC that uses ammonia fiber expansion pretreatment process and produces animal feed along with biorefinery feedstock.