Infrastructure development for conversion to environmentally friendly fuel

Ravi Bapna, Lakshman S. Thakur, Suresh K. Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


An important concern for any nation wishing to convert to alternate, environmentally friendly energy sources is the development of appropriate fuel distribution infrastructure. We address the problem of optimally locating gas station facilities for developing nations, like India, which are in the process of converting from leaded to unleaded fuel. Importantly, a similar approach may be used in developed countries, which are in the process of converting to automobiles using hydrogen or electrical energy. An integer-programming model with the objective of balancing the perspectives of coverage and cost is presented for this facility location problem. Given the existing network of roads, the model considers the traveling population, the location of existing facilities and the cost of, either converting these facilities to carry unleaded fuel, or of installing new facilities in an attempt to minimize cost and simultaneously maximize coverage of population. We develop a heuristic solution procedure for this problem. The methodology is applied to data sets obtained from Current et al. [J.R. Current, C.S. ReVelle, J.L. Cohon, Decision Sciences 19 (1988) 490] representing the Ohio state limited access highway network, and to the Indian national highway network. Additionally, extensive simulations are carried out in order to examine where our approach compares with the maximum weighted spanning tree approach. This work extends the Maximum Covering/Shortest Path problem (MCSPP) formulated by Current et al. [J.R. Current, C.S. ReVelle, J.L. Cohon, European Journal of Operational Research 21 (1985) 189] to accommodate multiple sources and destinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-496
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002


  • Environmental protection
  • Facility location
  • Integer programming


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