Biomass logistics: Financial & environmental costs. Case study: 2MW electrical power plants
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Biomass is so diverse that special care must always be taken in designing plants to handle biomass-based fuels and in the process for its collection, preparation and transportation, because its energy density is such that far greater volumes need to be transported than in the case of fossil fuels. This means higher costs and more associated CO2 emissions.This paper examines the following points concerned with the logistics of biomass: optimum biomass transport distances to plants, transport costs, CO2 emissions relative to CO2 avoided and the surface areas required to grow or collect biomass.Particular emphasis is placed on the logistics of biomass-fired electric power plants rated at 2MW electrical, a size that enables electric power distribution to be decentralised.The findings reveal that the maximum cost of logistics (not including any collection and preparation stages) is €11.05 per tonne, with emissions amounting to 0.69% of the total CO2 avoided, for the worst-case scenario of distances averaging 100km around the plant. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
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