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Agriculture 2018, 8(6), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8060074

Optimal Level of Woody Biomass Co-Firing with Coal Power Plant Considering Advanced Feedstock Logistics System

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
2
Director, Michigan Tech Transportation Institute, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 26 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuels and Sustainable Development)
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Abstract

Co-firing from woody biomass feedstock is one of the alternatives toward increased use of renewable feedstock in existing coal power plants. However, the economic level of co-firing at a particular power plant depends on several site-specific factors. Torrefaction has been identified recently as a promising biomass pretreatment option to lead to reduction of the feedstock delivered cost, and thus facilitate an increase in the co-firing ratio. In this study, a mixed integer linear program (MILP) is developed to integrate supply chain of co-firing and torrefaction process and find the optimal level of biomass co-firing in terms of minimized transportation and logistics costs, with or without tax credits. A case study of 26 existing coal power plants in three Great Lakes States of the US is used to test the model. The results reveal that torrefaction process can lead to higher levels of co-firing, but without the tax credit, the effect is limited to the low capacity of power plants. The sensitivity analysis shows that co-firing ratio has higher sensitivity to variation in capital and operation costs of torrefaction than to the variation in the transportation and feedstock purchase costs. View Full-Text
Keywords: logistics; biomass transportation; torrefaction; co-firing ratio; coal power plant logistics; biomass transportation; torrefaction; co-firing ratio; coal power plant
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Ko, S.; Lautala, P. Optimal Level of Woody Biomass Co-Firing with Coal Power Plant Considering Advanced Feedstock Logistics System. Agriculture 2018, 8, 74.

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