Size matters: Small distributed biomass energy production systems for economic viability

R. R Ruan, Paul L Chen, Richard Hemmingsen, Vance Morey, Douglas G Tiffany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Current large scale biomass energy production systems including cellulosic ethanol, gasification, and pyrolysis facilities face significant technical and economic hurdles. Compared with these large scale systems, small distributed biomass energy production systems (DBEPS) are believed to offer advantages including lower capital costs, lower feedstock costs, simplified transportation and logistics and higher returns for biomass producers. DBEPS compliant technologies are expected to make utilization of regional biomass supplies practical and economically viable in the near-term. This paper presents arguments on the need and importance of DBEPS, available DBEPS options, and an economic scenario of DBEPS implementation on an average size farm in the US.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-68
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


  • Biomass
  • Biorefining
  • Pyrolysis
  • Renewable energy
  • Thermochemical conversion

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