Price Scenarios at $54 and $119 were simulated for Switchgrass, Miscanthus and Willow production from 2017 to 2040. These analyses were used in Woodbury, Peter B., et al. 2018. "Improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay using payments for ecosystem services for perennial biomass for bioenergy and biofuel production." Biomass and Bioenergy 114:132-142. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2017.01.024.
Impact of probability of working day on planning and operation of biomass feedstock production systems
Abstract: Unfavorable weather can significantly impact the production and provision of agriculture-based biomass feedstocks such as Miscanthus and switchgrass. This work quantified the impact of regional weather on the feedstock production systems using the BioFeed modeling framework. Weather effects were incorporated in BioFeed by including the probability of working day (pwd) parameter in the model, which defined the fraction of days in a specific period such as two weeks that were suitable for field operations. Model simulations were conducted for Miscanthus and switchgrass for values of pwd between 20 and 100% and intended biorefinery capacities between 1000 and 5000 Mg d–1; and the impact on total cost and farm machinery requirements was quantified. Results indicated that using production and provision systems designed assuming 100% pwd for lower pwd values increased the cost exponentially by up to 64% for Miscanthus and 85% for switchgrass. It also decreased the supportable biorefinery capacity for the collection region by up to 60%. If the systems were instead optimized for specific values of pwd, the original biorefinery capacity was maintained and the total cost increase was less than 5%. The resulting optimal systems required up to 40% higher investment in farm machinery. For Illinois, production systems designed for regional pwd values required a 34% increase in farm machinery investment for Miscanthus while only a 12% increase for switchgrass. Initiating Miscanthus harvesting in November instead of January reduced the farm machinery investment increase to 17%, which suggests that such an alternative should be rigorously evaluated.
Abstract: Distributed storage and pre-processing of biomass feedstock at satellite storage locations (storage
depots) has been proposed in literature to reduce costs and improve efficiency of the supply system. The performance of such a system, however, has not yet been rigorously quantified and compared with conventional alternatives. This work presents such an analysis using the BioFeed optimization model. BioFeed is a system-level model that optimizes the important feedstock production activities and determines the optimal system configuration on a regional basis. The BioFeed model was first modified to enable modeling of mechanical pre-processing, such as pelletization and grinding, at the input or the output of storage facilities, which can be mandatory or optional. The model was used to study different Miscanthus production scenarios in southern Illinois. The results showed that making storage pre-processing mandatory increased the total cost by up to 16–53% as compared to the base case. However, it reduced the farmers’ share of the total cost by up to 13–39%. The exact values depended on the particular pre-processing technology and scenario modeled. The most cost-effective system consisted of a combination of pre-processing on the farms as well as at the storage facilities. The study recommended that biomass output from a hammer mill should be the biorefinery delivery specification; the hammer mills should be installed at the input of the storage facilities, but pre-processing at the storage facility should be optional. This led to the minimum total cost of 46.4 $ Mg−1.
Transportation fuels are the major component of our energy portfolio. Of the 20 million barrels of petroleum consumed each day in the United States, 68 percent is used in the transportation sector. The Western states are in position to become key producers and beneficiaries in the emerging alternative-fuels economy. We have abundant resources that have great potential as domestic sources for transportation fuels. In 2008, the Western Governors accepted a report and passed a resolution reaffirming their commitment to developing and diversifying the region's transportation fuels portfolio. The following report is the February 2008 report from the Western Governors Association titled Transportation Fuels for the Future.