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Biomass Value Chain Design: A Case Study of the Upper Rhine Region

Rudi, A., Müller, A.-K., Fröhling, M., Schultmann, F.
Waste and biomass valorization 2017 v.8 no.7 pp. 2313-2327
bioenergy, biomass, case studies, decision making, energy, feedstocks, fossil fuels, markets, mathematical models, planning, supply chain, transportation
Bioenergy is expected to play an important role in the future mix of energy supply in bridging the gap between diminishing fossil fuels and increasing global energy needs, as it is in contrast to other renewable energies, capable of providing base-load capacities. Valorization of biomass as a source of energy is challenging due to the large variety of biomass feedstocks and conversion technologies. To master these challenges and to establish a successful bioenergy market, the development of optimized biomass value chains is essential. We present a case study application of a biomass value chain design for the tri-national Upper Rhine Region. A mathematical model is formulated, which uses existing potentials in order to optimize the biomass value chain in terms of multiple feedstocks, technologies, and outputs. Potential biomass conversion plants are identified or existing ones are upgraded while integrating transportation, location, technology, and capacity planning. The model is implemented and applied in a case study for the Upper Rhine Region. The resulting insights provide for a techno-economic assessment of biomass value chains and the identification of potential biomass pathways. In this way, support is provided in strategic decision making, while taking into account the type of biomass feedstock as well as the conversion technology, and in tactical planning by allocating feedstock to conversion facility locations.