Engineering feedstock supply systems that deliver affordable, high-quality biomass remains a challenge for the emerging bioenergy industry. Cellulosic biomass is geographically distributed and has diverse physical and chemical properties. Because of this feedstock supply systems that deliver cellulosic biomass resources to biorefineries require integration of a broad set of engineered unit operations. These unit operations include harvest and collection, storage, preprocessing, and transportation processes. Design decisions for each feedstock supply system unit operation impact the engineering design and performance of the other system elements. These interdependencies are further complicated by spatial and temporal variances such as climate conditions and biomass characteristics. This paper develops an integrated model that couples a SQL-based data management engine and systems dynamics models to design and evaluate biomass feedstock supply systems. The integrated model, called the Biomass Logistics Model (BLM), includes a suite of databases that provide 1) engineering performance data for hundreds of equipment systems, 2) spatially explicit labor cost datasets, and 3) local tax and regulation data. The BLM analytic engine is built in the systems dynamics software package Powersim™. The BLM is designed to work with thermochemical and biochemical based biofuel conversion platforms and accommodates a range of cellulosic biomass types (i.e., herbaceous residues, short-rotation woody and herbaceous energy crops, woody residues, algae, etc.). The BLM simulates the flow of biomass through the entire supply chain, tracking changes in feedstock characteristics (i.e., moisture content, dry matter, ash content, and dry bulk density) as influenced by the various operations in the supply chain. By accounting for all of the equipment that comes into contact with biomass from the point of harvest to the throat of the conversion facility and the change in characteristics, the BLM evaluates economic performance of the engineered system, as well as determining energy consumption and green house gas performance of the design. This paper presents a BLM case study delivering corn stover to produce cellulosic ethanol. The case study utilizes the BLM to model the performance of several feedstock supply system designs. The case study also explores the impact of temporal variations in climate conditions to test the sensitivity of the engineering designs. Results from the case study show that under certain conditions corn stover can be delivered to the cellulosic ethanol biorefinery for $35/dry ton.

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