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Analyzing and Comparing Biomass Feedstock Supply Systems in China: Corn Stover and Sweet Sorghum Case Studies

This paper analyzes the rural Chinese biomass supply system and models supply chain operations according to U.S. concepts of logistical unit operations: harvest and collection, storage, transportation, preprocessing, and handling and queuing. In this paper, we quantify the logistics cost of corn stover and sweet sorghum in China under different scenarios. We analyze three scenarios of corn stover logistics from northeast China and three scenarios of sweet sorghum stalks logistics from Inner Mongolia in China. The case study estimates that the logistics cost of corn stover and sweet sorghum stalk to be $52.95/dry metric ton and $52.64/dry metric ton, respectively, for the current labor-based biomass logistics system. However, if the feedstock logistics operation is mechanized, the cost of corn stover and sweet sorghum stalk decreases to $36.01/dry metric ton and $35.76/dry metric ton, respectively. The study also includes a sensitivity analysis to identify the cost factors that cause logistics cost variation. Results of the sensitivity analysis show that labor price has the most influence on the logistics cost of corn stover and sweet sorghum stalk, with a variation of $6 to $12/dry metric ton.

Author(s)
Lantian Ren, Kara Cafferty, Mohammad Ron, Jacob Jacobson, Guanghui Xie, Leslie Ovard, and Christopher Wright
Contact Organization
Idaho National Laboratory
Keywords
Publication Year
DOI
10.3390/en8065577
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.