Integrating Biomass Conversion Technologies with Recovery Operations In-Woods: Modeling Supply Chain

Jeffrey Steven Paulson, Anil Raj Kizha, Han Sup Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Economic potential of feedstock generated low-valued forest residue can be enhanced by emerging biomass conversion technologies (BCT), such as torrefaction, briquetting, and gasification. However, for implementing these emerging processes within the woods, several hurdles are to be overcome, among which a balanced supply chain is pivotal. Centralized biomass recovery operation (CBRO) could be an economically viable solution in accessing harvesting sites and allows integration of BCT into forest management. The goal of this study was to examine the logistic effects of integrating a BCT into a CBRO, under different in-wood scenarios based on variations in travel time between the facility locations, amount of raw materials handled, intermediate storage capacity, and duration (number of days) of annual operations. Specific objectives included analyzing the effects of forest residue recoverability (BDMT, bone dry metric ton/ha), total transportation time from the harvest unit to the market, and the annual number of in-woods production sites on the overall efficiency of the BCT operations. Concurrently, this study examined the forest managerial impacts due to such an integration. Location-allocation tool (maximize market share problem type) within the ArcGIS Network Analyst platform was utilized to model the scenarios and generate one-way travel times from the harvest site to final markets. Results from geospatial analysis showed that there were 89–159 and 64–136 suitable locations for the BCT for logistics model (LM) I and II, respectively. Total one-way travel time for all the models ranged between 1.0–1.7 h. Additionally, the annual numbers of BCT sites was inversely proportional to the total one-way travel time (i.e., harvest unit to market). Arranging CBRO and BCT operations to occur at the same in-woods site returned shorter total and average travel times than arranging the two activities at separate in-woods sites. The model developed for this study can be used by forest managers and entrepreneurs to identify sites for placing BCTs in the forest that minimizes transportation times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • biomass logistics
  • briquetting
  • gasification
  • network analysis
  • timber harvesting operations
  • torrefaction
  • woody biomass
  • work plan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrating Biomass Conversion Technologies with Recovery Operations In-Woods: Modeling Supply Chain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this