Use of linear programming to -optimize the social, −environmental, and economic impacts of using woody feedstocks for pellet and -torrefied pellet production

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Linear programming was used to optimize the economic, environmental, and social impacts of forest biomass used for bioenergy production. Sixteen scenarios (combinations of feedstocks, products, markets, and end use) were studied. Two feedstocks (roundwood and wood residues), two densified bioenergy products (white pellet, torrefied pellet), two markets (domestic, international), and two end uses (power generation, district heating) were evaluated. The social, environmental, and economic sustainability attributes were quantified and monetized using peer-reviewed literature to analyze the trade-offs. Using the economic criteria alone, the model showed that the best solution was use of 70% roundwood and 30% forest residue feedstock to produce torrefied pellets (TP) sold for district heating in the EU. The model predicts $5.4 million annual profit which is driven by the use of lower cost forest residue feedstocks, and relatively higher prices for the heating market in the EU. Inclusion of all three sustainability attributes led to a different optimized solution. TP produced from roundwood and sold to the EU market for heating was the optimum, due to the social benefits derived from increased local income to landowners and reduced shipping costs. It also had added benefits of reductions in emissions across the transportation system on an energy basis. TP consistently had higher social benefits than WP due to the need for more biomass per unit of final product, and providing more local jobs and income from feedstock production. The increasing costs of carbon emissions increased the environmental benefits of TP compared to WP or coal. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Radics, RI; Dasmohapatra, S; Kelley, SS

Published Date

  • July 1, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 446 - 461

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-1031

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1932-104X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/bbb.1658

Citation Source

  • Scopus