A case study in planning a renewable energy supply chain: Part ii using life cycle environmental metrics to select a biomass feedstock

Joel Tallaksen, Tricia Simo Kush

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This work examines how environmental metrics impact the choice between alternative biomass feedstock supply chains for a bioenergy project. It focuses on life cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions as important components when assessing biomass options for use at newly built or renovated bioenergy facilities. The wide variety in combinations of biomass energy feedstocks, collection methods, and regional cropping systems make each project unique. Therefore, a case study that had broadly applicable concepts was used as an example of biomass feedstock supply chain development. The case examined was the supply chain developed for the University of Minnesota, Morris renewable biomass heating facility located in rural West Central Minnesota. Though several feedstocks were initially considered, only corn stover (leaves, stalks, and cobs) and corn cobs seemed realistic options for life cycle modeling. Preliminary modeling indicates that both would significantly reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional natural gas or coal. However, the rather small difference in environmental impacts between biomass feedstocks suggests that other factors (cost, cultural practices, and inconveniences) may override specific environmental criteria unless there is a significant external cost for negative environmental impacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management - Entrepreneurship Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationHarnessing Innovation, ASEM 2014
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Management
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event2014 35th International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management - Entrepreneurship Engineering: Harnessing Innovation, ASEM 2014 - Virginia Beach, United States
Duration: Oct 15 2014Oct 18 2014

Other

Other2014 35th International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management - Entrepreneurship Engineering: Harnessing Innovation, ASEM 2014
CountryUnited States
CityVirginia Beach
Period10/15/1410/18/14

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Keywords

  • Analytic modeling
  • Biofuel logistics
  • Biomass
  • Fossil fuel replacement
  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG)
  • Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • Renewable energy
  • Supply chain

Cite this

Tallaksen, J., & Simo Kush, T. (2014). A case study in planning a renewable energy supply chain: Part ii using life cycle environmental metrics to select a biomass feedstock. In 2014 International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management - Entrepreneurship Engineering: Harnessing Innovation, ASEM 2014 American Society for Engineering Management.