(27e) Techno-Economic Analysis of Supplying Forest Biomass Feedstock for Biopower Applications
AIChE Annual Meeting
Sunday, October 28, 2018 - 5:10pm to 5:35pm
The current findings from sensitivity analysis indicate that the prices of logging products such as sawlog, pulpwood, firewood, and wood chips most affect the economic viability of the logging activities, followed by capital costs invested. We found that the stumpage price of sawlog is closely associated with the minimum selling price of wood chips. Higher profits from sawlog sales would give loggers a buffer against the current, low price of wood chip production.
Further research will focus on uncertainty analysis of logging economic viability to develop financial risk management tools for the forest biomass feedstock supply chain. The nature of forest operations involves uncertainty due to variations in the price of logging products, equipment costs, fuel price, and other factors. To incorporate the uncertainty of cost and revenue components, this research applies stochastic analysis with Monte Carlos simulations and obtains probability distributions of NPVs of harvest system models.
Final findings from this TEA study will contribute to biopower applications through integrated analysis using life cycle assessment (LCA) of climate change impacts of the equivalent feedstock production. We will incorporate variations of the modeled feedstock price into the fuel cost of biopower model. For the integrated analysis, one implication is that using biofuels for equipment operations can mitigate climate change impacts compared to using conventional diesel fuels; however, it also results in higher financial operating costs when not subsidized. As such, the integration of TEA and LCA modeling provides insights into the development of forest biomass feedstocks to supply affordable and low carbon energy. The biopower model integrated with this feedstock model will provide robust findings for economic viability of electricity generation with bio-feedstock.