GIS-based allocation of herbaceous biomass in biorefineries and depots

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Biomass and Bioenergy, ISSN: 0961-9534, Vol: 97, Page: 1-10

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Daniela S. Gonzales; Stephen W. Searcy
Elsevier BV
Agricultural and Biological Sciences; Energy; Environmental Science
article description
While sufficient biomass has been identified to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) 1 targets by previous studies, availability does not equal access. Our objective was to quantify the potential accessible and stranded herbaceous biomass from different scenarios of predicted available biomass in both Texas and the US. The location and size of potential biorefineries and depots was determined using the geographic location of suitable lands for biomass, the transportation infrastructure and published economic constraints for minimum biomass supplied to a facility within a specified neighborhood. Our GIS-based heuristic addresses the capacitated facility location problem by distributing potential biomass along a county's suitable lands. Road and rail proximity optionally was included in the algorithm. The total stranded biomass in Texas was 28% of the total available biomass. Including the constraint of the transportation network accessibility (rail and appropriate roads) when determining facility location increased the total stranded biomass to 33%. Using county centroids as supply points and potential facilities led to an increase of 7% in total biomass captured by all facilities in Texas when compared to our raster-based heuristic. The nationwide accessible biomass is 90% of the available biomass, 78% of which is captured by biorefineries. In total, 77 biorefineries and 171 depots were identified in the US, which projects to 184 million Mg year −1 delivered to biorefineries and depots, or 65.3 billion liters of advanced biofuels, more than the targeted 60 billion liters of advanced cellulosic biofuel in the RFS2.