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Special Issue "Supply Chain Optimization for Biomass and Biofuels"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecology and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 August 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Mauricio Acuna

University of the Sunshine Coast, 43 Malachi Dr., Kingston, TAS, 7050, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: wood and biomass supply chain optimisation, harvesting and transport logistics, forest operations planning, mathematical programming, decision support systems, sensor and computer vision technologies
Co-Guest Editor
Dr. Elena Canga

Forest and Wood Technology Research Centre (CETEMAS), Bº Pumarabule s/n, Carbayín. 33936 Siero, Asturias, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: harvesting; modelling; logistics; LiDAR; GIS; biomass

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forest residues represent a feasible option for the production of biofuels (e.g., ethanol and biodiesel) and bioenergy (e.g., heat and electricity), of which utilization has the potential to generate additional income for forest owners while diversifying energy sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Forest residues for bioenergy generation and biofuel production include residues generated as by-products during harvesting operations (e.g., tops, branches, bark, and small logs), as well as residues generated at sawmills (e.g., sawdust, chips, bark). A major obstacle for the use of forest residues and implementation of biomass projects is the high cost associated with their collection, processing, and transport. Increased operational costs along the supply chain have called for new technological solutions for the collection and transport of forest residues, and complex mathematical models to optimizing processes and supporting the planning of bioenergy supply chains.

Different mathematical modelling and optimization methods, primarily linear and mixed-integer programming, have been used to support effective planning and management of bioenergy supply chains, to address decisions about sourcing, capacity and geographical location of bioenergy and biofuel plants, and to design optimized supply chain networks for different types of biomass products and production facilities. Previous studies have presented models to optimise the allocation of collection and transport equipment to different sources of forest residues, as well as the optimal supply of forest residues to bioenergy markets and competing industries (e.g., panel-board mills). A few models have been developed to optimise optimal drying time of forest residues before transportation to biofuels and bioenergy plants, and to optimise supply chain costs based on forest residues drying models.

This Special Issue of Forests is focused on applied optimization methods and solutions for biofuels and biomass to reduce supply chain costs and greenhouse emissions. Research articles may focus on any application of mathematical models and decision support tools for the optimization of one or more components of the supply chain, including decisions at the strategic, tactical, or operational planning level. Topics could include, but are not limited to, supply chain optimization including economic, social and environmental values, optimised design of biomass and biofuels supply chain networks, optimal location of biomass and biofuel plants, optimal allocation and selection of equipment for the collection and transport of forest residues, optimized transport logistics, and optimized moisture content management of forest residues. Solution techniques may include, among others, linear and nonlinear programming, mixed-integer programming, stochastic programming, multi-objective and goal programming, dynamic programming, network programming, heuristics, metaheuristics, and simulation models.

Dr. Mauricio Acuna
Dr. Elena Canga
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biomass
  • biofuels
  • supply chain optimisation
  • network design
  • facility location
  • transport logistics
  • mathematical modelling
  • heuristics
  • metaheuristics
  • simulation

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Productivity and Oil Content in Relation to Jatropha Fruit Ripening under Tropical Dry-Forest Conditions
Forests 2018, 9(10), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100611
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 28 September 2018 / Accepted: 1 October 2018 / Published: 4 October 2018
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Abstract
Jatropha is promoted as a pro-poor bioenergy plant, while basic information about its productivity, age of maximum production, and oil content are missing. This study aims to determine the seed yield (dry weight) for three INIAP elite jatropha accessions, and to evaluate the [...] Read more.
Jatropha is promoted as a pro-poor bioenergy plant, while basic information about its productivity, age of maximum production, and oil content are missing. This study aims to determine the seed yield (dry weight) for three INIAP elite jatropha accessions, and to evaluate the changes in physical and chemical seed traits at the different fruit ripening stage in a split-plot design. Maximum seed production occurred four years after planting for the accessions CP041 and CP052, while for accession CP054, it occurred after the first year. CP041 was the most productive, with a mean of 316.46 g tree−1 year−1 (±76.50) over the 8-year study period. No significant differences in oil content were found among accessions, fruit ripening stage, and their respective interactions. Seed moisture content decreased drastically as the fruit ripening stage increased, from 40.5% ± 1.0% at fruit ripening stage 1 (greenish-yellow) down to 13.8% ± 0.4% at fruit ripening stage 4 (black-brown). No significant differences in seed weight were found among accessions, but it decreased as maturation progressed. Yellow fruits (stage 2) were the heaviest (62.4 g ± 1.5 g) and the black-brown fruits the lightest (44.3 g ± 1.9 g). The oil content (%) increased with seed weight up to the point of 58.3 g, but then decreased for heavier seeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supply Chain Optimization for Biomass and Biofuels)
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Open AccessArticle Optimizing the Location of Biomass Energy Facilities by Integrating Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
Forests 2018, 9(10), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100585
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 20 September 2018
PDF Full-text (5179 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Internationally forest biomass is considered to be a valuable renewable energy feedstock. However, utilization of forest harvesting residues is challenging because they are highly varied, generally of low quality and usually widely distributed across timber harvesting sites. Factors related to the collection, processing [...] Read more.
Internationally forest biomass is considered to be a valuable renewable energy feedstock. However, utilization of forest harvesting residues is challenging because they are highly varied, generally of low quality and usually widely distributed across timber harvesting sites. Factors related to the collection, processing and transport impose constraints on the economic viability of residue utilization operations and impact their supply from dispersed feedstock locations. To optimize decision-making about suitable locations for biomass energy plants intending to use forest residues, it is essential to factor in these supply chain considerations. This study conducted in Tasmania, Australia presents an investigation into the integration of Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) and Geographical Information systems (GIS) to identify optimal locations for prospective biomass power plants. The amount of forest harvesting biomass residues was estimated based on a non-industrial private native resource model in Tasmania (NIPNF). The integration of MCA and a GIS model, including a supply chain cost analysis, allowed the identification and analysis of optimal candidate locations that balanced economic, environmental, and social criteria within the biomass supply. The study results confirm that resource availability, land use and supply chain cost data can be integrated and mapped using GIS to facilitate the determination of different sustainable criteria weightings, and to ultimately generate optimal candidate locations for biomass energy plants. It is anticipated that this paper will make a contribution to current scientific knowledge by presenting innovative approaches for the sustainable utilization of forest harvest residues as a resource for the generation of bioenergy in Tasmania. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supply Chain Optimization for Biomass and Biofuels)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Title: An optimization approach to assess the impact of roundwood and biomass drying and raw material losses on supply chains costs and GHG emissions.
Authors: Mauricio Acuna (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia), Sandra Sánchez-García (CETEMAS, Spain), Elena Canga (CETEMAS, Spain)

2. Title: Supply Chain Optimization for Biomass and Biofuels: A Synthesis of Issues for Future Work
Authors: Kevin Boston (Humboldt State University, USA), Mauricio Acuna (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia)


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