Rationale for Biomass Supply Chain

Biomass resources have been in use for a variety of purposes since ages. The multiple uses of biomass includes usage as a livestock or for meeting domestic and industrial thermal requirements or for the generation of power to fulfill any electrical or mechanical needs. One of the major issues, however, associated with the use of any biomass resources is its supply chain management.

The resource being bulky, voluminous and only seasonally available creates serious hurdles in the reliable supply of the feedstock, regardless of its application. The idea is thus to have something which plugs in this gap between the biomass resource availability and its demand.

wood wastes

The Problem

The supply chain management in any biomass-based project is nothing less than a big management conundrum. The complexity deepens owing to the large number of stages which encompass the entire biomass value chain. It starts right from the resource harvesting and goes on to include the resource collection, processing, storage and eventually its transportation to the point of ultimate utilization.

biomass supply chain

Owing to the voluminous nature of the resource, its handling becomes a major issue since it requires bigger modes of logistics, employment of a larger number of work-force and a better storage infrastructure, as compared to any other fuel or feedstock. Not only this their lower energy density characteristic, makes it inevitable for the resource to be first processed and then utilized for power generation to make for better economics.

All these hassles associated with such resources, magnify the issue of their utilization when it comes to their supply chain. The seasonal availability of most of the biomass resources, alternative application options, weather considerations, geographical conditions and numerous other parameters make it difficult for the resource to be made consistently available throughout the year. This results in poor feedstock inputs at the utilization point which ends up generating energy in a highly erratic and unreliable manner.

The Solution

Although most of the problems discussed above, are issues inherently associated with the usage of biomass resources, they can be curtailed to a larger extent by strengthening the most important loophole in such projects – The Biomass Resource Supply Chain.

World over, major emphasis has been laid in researching upon the means to improve the efficiencies of such technologies. However, no significant due diligence has been carried out in fortifying the entire resource chain to assure such plants for a continuous resource supply.

biomass chain

The usual solution to encounter such a problem is to have long term contracts with the resource providers to not only have an assured supply but also guard the project against unrealistic escalations in the fuel costs. Although, this solution has been found to be viable, it becomes difficult to sustain such contracts for longer duration since these resources are also susceptible to numerous externalities which could be in the form of any natural disaster, infection from pests or any other socio-political or geographical disturbances, which eventually lead to an increased burden on the producers.

About Setu Goyal

Setu Goyal is currently involved with a social impact investment firm in delivering basic infrastructure services like energy, water and sanitation to the rural communities in India. He has worked as a product manager with a clean-tech startup where he was focused on marketing and development of solid biofuel products for the industrial and retail segments as well as in developing solutions to transform process waste streams into revenue-generating opportunities. He has a remarkable entrepreneurial zeal to improve waste management and renewable energy scenario in developing countries and has an extensive knowledge on biomass supply chain economics, planning and forecasting. Setu possesses Masters in Renewable Energy Engineering from TERI University (New Delhi) and can be reached at setu.goyal@gmail.com
Tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Rationale for Biomass Supply Chain

  1. Pingback: Biomass Energy Potential in Philippines

  2. Pingback: Biomass Exchange - Key to Success in Biomass Projects

  3. Pingback: Major Considerations in Biopower Projects

  4. Pingback: Energy Potential of Empty Fruit Bunches

  5. Pingback: Requirements of Agricultural Biomass Plants | Cleantech Solutions

  6. Pingback: Ideas That Could Reshape How Companies Use Energy

  7. Pingback: Biomass Energy in China

  8. Pingback: Use of Big Data in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

  9. Pingback: Bioenergy Projects - Problems and Remedies | Cleantech Solutions

  10. Pingback: Major Issues in Biomass Energy Projects | BioEnergy Consult

  11. Pingback: How is Biomass Transported | BioEnergy Consult

  12. Pingback: Logistics of a Biomass Power Plant | BioEnergy Consult

  13. Pingback: Sugarcane Trash - A Wonderful Resource for the Indian Sugar Industry | BioEnergy Consult

  14. Pingback: Biorefinery Prospects in India | BioEnergy Consult

  15. Pingback: Biogas from Crop Wastes versus Energy Crops: European Perspectives | BioEnergy Consult

  16. Pingback: 4 Benefits of Studying Supply Chain and Logistics Management | BioEnergy Consult

  17. Pingback: Everything You Should Know About Biomass Logistics

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.