The design of a specific chain for the biobased economy is subject to many different logistics issues. Which biomass sources, pretreatments, transport modes, storage locations, and scale and conversion technologies should be chosen to guarantee a sustainable process?
Biomass has a number of important features which affect the logistics handling process. Examples include a relatively high moisture content, low bulk density, variable shape and particle size, and the risk of degradation (decomposition, combustion and mould). Biomass is often produced in seasonal patterns, in small quantities and over a large number of locations. Biomass is often not produced in the same place where it is processed. The aim of a good logistics process is, therefore, to get the right amounts of biomass of the right quality to the right place at the right time. Security of supply is of great importance in the logistics chain if the conversion processes is to be provided with biomass in time.
Answer to logistics issues
Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has years of experience with biomass chains and logistics issues. A careful analysis of the envisaged biomass chain lets us provide insight into the best logistics process. We use simulation and optimisation models to facilitate design decisions. This allows us to support the logistics of delivering the appropriate quantities of biomass of the right quality to the right place at the right time.