Are you debating the best way to get from A to B? Are you considering travelling by rail – but not sure if it offers the most benefits? You’re in the right place. Here, we explore five reasons to choose rail travel.
1. You can be productive
If you’re driving a car, you need to place your undivided attention on the road in front of you. When you take the train, however, you’re free to spend your time onboard as you wish. Whether that’s being productive by getting some work done on your laptop, relaxing with your favourite podcast or refuelling with a bite to eat, you can make the most of your time spent travelling.
2. It’s better for the environment
Studies have shown that public transport can help to tackle climate change – by reducing the reliance on individual car journeys and therefore lowering overall emissions from petrol and diesel. In the US, greenhouse gas emissions caused by transport accounts for around 29% of the country’s total emissions – so by having less cars on the road, emissions can be reduced. This will in turn improve air quality, particularly in urban areas, leading to a healthier population.
3. You can avoid traffic
Have you ever been in a rush to get somewhere, got stuck in a traffic jam and ended up being late? You’re not alone – many of us have been caught out by heavy traffic at one time or another. Travelling by train means you don’t need to worry about getting stuck in traffic, you can simply hop onboard and get from A to B with ease. For instance, if you need to travel by train from Cambridge to Hatfield in rush hour, you’ll typically arrive in less than an hour with no stress about traffic or parking.
4. It’s fast and efficient
Another benefit of travelling by rail is that it’s fast and efficient. Many rail services can travel at impressive high speeds which are much quicker than that of a car on the road. Of course, how fast the train travels will depend on the service and model – but some of the fastest trains in the world include the Shanghai Maglev at 267mph and the Fuxing Hao at 249 mph.
5. It’s cost-effective
Travelling by train may also be a more cost-effective option than travelling by car or plane. This really depends on where you’re travelling to and from, so it’s important to do your research before you book your travel. In some cases, you may be able to take advantage of deals and discounts from the train provider. For instance, you can often get great value fares if you have a railcard or travel at Off-Peak times.
Will you take the train next time you have to travel?
The electric car revolution is reshaping the automotive industry, and comprehending your EV’s technology is now more vital than ever. Often underestimated, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a goldmine of information about your electric car. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into VIN decoding and explore how it can provide invaluable insights into the technology that powers your electric vehicle.
Decoding the Electric Car VIN
Decode VIN: Let’s start by demystifying the VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number. This unique 17-character code is your electric car’s digital fingerprint. Recent industry data reveals that electric vehicle sales surpassed over 2.5 million units worldwide in 2020, with projections of continued exponential growth. The VIN isn’t just a random assortment of letters and numbers; it’s a treasure trove of information about your EV’s origin, features, and tech specifications. Let’s take a deep dive into this fascinating code.
Revealing the Electric Car’s Origin
The initial three characters of your VIN unveil your car’s origin and manufacturer. For electric car enthusiasts, this section offers insights into the global reach of EV production. Each character signifies distinct information, such as the country of origin or the automaker’s identity.
Understanding the Electric Car’s Model and Features
Delving further into the VIN, you’ll uncover intricate details about your electric car’s model, trim level, and features. This is where decoding the VIN gets exciting for tech-savvy EV owners. By unraveling the code, you can pinpoint specific technologies and enhancements that come standard or as options in your electric car model.
Safety and Recall Information
Safety is paramount in the electric car world, and your VIN can provide valuable insights. Certain characters in your VIN may reveal safety features integrated into your vehicle’s design. Furthermore, automakers use VINs to monitor recalls and safety-related data. Recent data shows that electric cars boast lower accident rates compared to traditional vehicles. Deciphering your VIN helps you stay informed about recalls or safety concerns associated with your electric car.
Maintenance and Repairs
When it comes to maintaining and servicing your electric car, having accurate information about its technology is indispensable. Your VIN can offer clues about the compatibility of replacement parts and assist you in locating the right manuals and resources to ensure your EV remains in top-notch condition.
Customization and Modifications
Electric car enthusiasts often seek to customize or modify their vehicles to suit their specific needs or preferences. Your VIN can play a significant role in this process. It provides essential details about your EV’s original configuration, making it easier to identify compatible aftermarket upgrades or modifications.
Future-Proofing Your Electric Car
As technology in the electric car industry evolves rapidly, future-proofing your EV becomes crucial. Your VIN can give you insights into your vehicle’s compatibility with upcoming software updates or hardware improvements. Staying informed about potential upgrades can help you extend the lifespan of your electric car and enhance its performance.
Environmental Impact and Sustainability
Another aspect illuminated by your VIN is the environmental impact of your electric car. By decoding the VIN, you can access information related to the materials used in its construction, energy efficiency, and emissions ratings. This knowledge enables you to make more informed choices in line with your sustainability goals.
Vehicle History and Ownership
Beyond the technical aspects, a vehicle check can also reveal critical information about the car’s history and ownership. It may include details about previous owners, service records, and even whether the car has been involved in any significant incidents or accidents. This insight can be invaluable when buying a used electric car.
In the world of electric cars, knowledge is power, and your VIN is your key to unlocking a wealth of information about your vehicle’s technology. From its origin to safety features, maintenance needs, customization possibilities, environmental impact, future prospects, and even its history, decoding your VIN empowers you to make informed decisions and fully embrace the technological marvels of your electric ride.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Japan’s biomass fuel requirement is estimated to be tens of millions of tons each year on account of its projected biomass energy capacity of 6,000MW by the year 2030. To achieve this capacity, more than 20 million tons of biomass fuel will be needed every year which will be mainly met by wood pellets and palm kernel shell (PKS). The similarity of the properties of wood pellets with PKS makes PKS the main competitor of wood pellets in the international biomass fuel market.
PKS has emerged as an attractive biomass commodity in Japan
Canada and USA are the biggest suppliers of wood pellets to the Japanese biomass market while PKS mainly comes from Indonesia and Malaysia. With the size of the material almost the same as wood pellets, but at a cheaper price (almost half the wood pellets) and also available in abundance, PKS is the preferred biomass fuel for the Japanese market. PKS can be used 100% in power plants that use fluidized bed combustion technology, while wood pellets are used in pulverized combustion.
Although there is abundant PKS in CPO (crude palm oil) producing countries, but fluctuations in CPO production and increase in domestic demand has led to reduction in PKS exports in Southeast Asia. In palm oil plantations, it is known as the low crop season and peak crop season. When the low crop season usually occurs in the summer or dry season, the supply of fruit to the palm oil mills decreases so that the CPO production decreases and also the supply of PKS automatically reduces, and vice versa in the peak crop season. When demand is high or even stable but supply decreases, the price of PKS tends to rise.
In addition, a wide range of industries in Indonesia and Malaysia have also began to use PKS as an alternative fuel triggering increased domestic demand. In recent years, PKS is also being processed into solid biomass commodities such as torrified PKS, PKS charcoal and PKS activated carbon. Thus, there is very limited scope of increasing PKS supply from Southeast Asia to large-scale biomass consumers like Japan and South Korea.
Palm oil mills process palm oil fruit from palm oil plantations, so the more fruit is processed the greater the PKS produced and also more processors or mills are needed. At present it is estimated that there are more than 1500 palm oil mills in Indonesia and Malaysia. Palm kernel shells from Indonesia and Malaysia is either being exported or used domestically by various industries. On the other hand, in other parts of the world PKS is still considered a waste which tends to pollute the environment and has no economic value.
Top palm oil producers around the world
West African countries, such Nigeria, Ghana and Togo, are still struggling to find a sustainable business model for utilization of PKS. Keeping in view the tremendous PKS requirements in the Asia-Pacific region, major PKS producers in Africa have an attractive business opportunity to export this much-sought after biomass commodity to the Japan, South Korea and even Europe.
Simply speaking, PKS collected from palm oil mills is dried, cleaned and shipped to the destination country. PKS users have special specifications related to the quality of the biomass fuel used, so PKS needs to be processed before exporting.
PKS exports from Indonesia and Malaysia to Japan are usually with volume 10 thousand tons / shipment by bulk ship. The greater the volume of the ship or the more cargo the PKS are exported, the transportation costs will generally be cheaper. African countries are located quite far from the Asia-Pacific region may use larger vessels such as the Panamax vessel to export their PKS.
Moving is a tedious task and can indulge a lot of stress for sure. Shouldering all the moving responsibilities to professionals can help you to get yourself free from unwanted stress. However, most people face a genuine problem while choosing a moving company. A seemingly small mistake in selecting a good mover can make your move a big failure.
Several times, people tend to choose other than local movers. They think that the giant moving companies are the best for shouldering all the moving responsibilities. However, reality speaks a lot different. Selecting a skilled and top-rated local mover has several benefits that can’t be denied.
Well, this article genuinely describes the several benefits of hiring a local moving company for your next move? So, let’s check them out to get a better level of transparencies of the topic.
On-site Estimate Facility
Getting an on-site visit is really essential to get an accurate estimate of the overall moving costs. If you consider choosing a giant moving company, you may not get an on-site estimate facility. The end result can be so much disappointing for you as you may get a massive difference in the final bill.
However, choosing one of the top-rated local moving companies can be beneficial to get the on-site visit facility. The local moving companies send their experienced executive to check everything physically so that you can get an accurate estimate. This way, you can save yourself from the unplanned moving expenses if you choose to hire a local moving company.
Adequate Grip over the Location
Most of the time, the movers quote their estimates based on the distance, time, and requirements. The real problem arises if the giant moving companies have no branch at your location. Therefore, if the mover has no branch at your site, there is less chance that a giant moving company will have enough grip on the roadways. So, they can ask you for a hefty amount by just assuming your location and condition of the routes.
However, if you consider choosing a reputed local mover, you won’t face such difficulties. The local movers have enough grip over the location and roadways. So, they can handle the traffic and take shortcuts in a better way than any other corporate moving company.
One of the best benefits of choosing a local moving company is that they accept any size of work depending upon your requirements. On the contrary, the corporate moving companies may not be interested in taking smaller moving responsibilities. Usually, the giant companies deal with a flat hourly rate. So, if the moving work is a smaller one, they may not be able to shoulder the responsibilities due to the low-profit margin.
However, considering a local moving company can manage all the moving responsibilities efficiently, resulting in fewer costs.
Hiring a local mover can enable you to evade risks to a great extent. You might be surprised that how the risk factors are associated with hiring a local mover over a giant one? Well, the reason is very simple. When you hire a comparatively small moving company, the company will try to give you the best experience as they want to grow more with the work experience.
Additionally, under any circumstances, if you’re not happy with the services, you can visit the office of the local moving companies. However, in the matter of hiring a giant moving company, you’ll hardly get any chance to see their office to let them know your feedback.
More Dedicated and Caring Services
Well, most people think that hiring a corporate moving company will do the moving job with ease. However, this isn’t appropriate. The corporate moving companies don’t depend on a few reviews. They have a lot of good customer base. Therefore, they give more importance to get new customers and focus less on reviews. This is the reason that they often lack in providing satisfactory services to their clients.
However, the small but skilled local moving companies are more concerned about providing standard moving services as they have a minimal customer base. They always try to offer best-class services to their customers to get appreciation.
So, as you have gone through the whole topic, now you’re better aware as to why you should hire a local moving company over the giant one. See, we aren’t discouraging you in any manner to choose a corporate mover. However, making you understand that hiring a skilled and professional local mover can perform the moving job for you with a lot of efficiencies. So, next time when you decide to move, don’t ignore the local moving companies of your locality. They can provide superior moving services and that too with adequate efficiency.
There are various options to consider when you want to acquire a forklift. As this is no cheap piece of equipment. Making a decision requires you to use a unique lens to decide on what’s best for your scale of operation. Are you torn between renting, leasing or buying? To help you through this challenging process, below, you will find points that will assist you in determining the best cause of action for your business:
1. Renting a forklift
If you in a seasonal peak during your business period or in need of moving extra freight, renting is the choice you can take. When you choose to rent a forklift, you are sure to benefit from experimenting with different classes of forklifts to see which one increases productivity.
However, rentals are somewhat expensive compared to leasing or buying. This is because you will have to cover maintenance costs as well as the time that the forklift will be idle while at the dealership between rental assignments.
During renting, remember that there will be building waste that needs attention. You need to take care of transportation waste, construction waste sorting as well as recycling streams.
2. Leasing a forklift
While you are contemplating leasing, you can set your number of years on which you intend to rent the machine. Having a short lease will allow you to work better if you want to become fluid. Leasing will provide you with less monthly payments when compared to renting or buying.
This option allows you to test-drive new models without making a permanent commitment to buying it. You will be at a position to make adjustments where you see fit in terms of decreasing the fleet size, changing product mix or modifying terms of the lease
3. Buying a forklift
Does your business have a preference for owning all the capital equipment it has? Do you want to access a higher competitive credit line? Is your business stable, or you anticipate to use the material for more than 20 years? Do you have cash at hand to make a purchase immediately? If yes, the best course of action that you should proceed with it buying your forklift machine.
This way, you are sure to make a better return on investment because when you rent over a long period, rental fee tends to become higher as compared to monthly financial costs.
Buying a forklift will allow you to make your modifications than with a rental or leased equipment. You get customized options which suit your specific needs.
You can enjoy a tax deduction as purchased forklift are entitled to a reduced tax.
When deciding on what purchasing technique to use, be sure to analyze your business needs before making any rash decisions. This will go hand in hand with the ultimate choice you make in purchasing option that will work for your company.
Electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as a promising solution to address environmental concerns and reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Australia, with its vast landscapes and unique environmental challenges, is no exception. In recent years, the country has seen a gradual increase in electric vehicle adoption as individuals, businesses, and policymakers recognize the importance of transitioning towards a more sustainable transportation system. In this article, we will delve into the factors driving the uptake of electric vehicles in Australia and the challenges that lie ahead in accelerating their widespread adoption.
1. Environmental Consciousness
Australia is known for its stunning natural beauty, but it also faces significant environmental challenges, including climate change, air pollution, and reliance on fossil fuels. As people become increasingly conscious of their carbon footprint, there has been a growing interest in cleaner and greener modes of transportation. Electric vehicles, with zero tailpipe emissions, offer a compelling alternative to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles and are viewed as a crucial step towards a more sustainable future.
2. Government Incentives
Federal and state governments in Australia have recognized the importance of promoting electric vehicle adoption and have introduced various incentives to encourage consumers to make the switch. These incentives may include grants, rebates, tax credits, reduced registration fees, and access to bus lanes or toll discounts. Additionally, governments have been investing in charging infrastructure development to address range anxiety concerns.
3. Advancements in Technology
One of the initial barriers to electric vehicle adoption was the perception of limited driving range and lack of charging infrastructure. However, technological advancements in battery technology have significantly improved EV range, making them a viable option for many Australians. Moreover, faster-charging options, such as DC fast-charging stations, have become more prevalent, reducing charging time and enhancing the convenience of owning an electric vehicle.
4. Cost Savings
Though electric vehicles may have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional vehicles, the total cost of ownership over the vehicle’s lifespan can be lower. Electric vehicles generally have lower operating costs, as electricity is cheaper than gasoline, and they require less maintenance due to fewer moving parts. As consumers become more aware of these cost-saving benefits, the financial appeal of electric vehicles continues to grow.
5. Corporate Commitments
Businesses in Australia are also playing a vital role in driving electric vehicle uptake. Many companies have adopted sustainability targets and are incorporating electric vehicles into their fleets. Besides the environmental benefits, using electric vehicles in commercial operations can yield significant cost savings and enhance the company’s green image.
6. Charging Infrastructure Expansion
A robust charging infrastructure is critical to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Recognizing this, both public and private entities have been investing in charging station deployment across Australia. Charging stations can be found in public parking lots, shopping centers, hotels, and along highways. This expansion has alleviated range anxiety concerns and instilled confidence in potential electric vehicle buyers.
Challenges and Roadblocks
While the progress in electric vehicle uptake is promising, there are still challenges that need to be addressed to accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable transportation future:
1. High Upfront Cost
The initial purchase price of electric vehicles remains a significant barrier for many potential buyers. While ongoing reductions in battery costs are expected to alleviate this issue over time, government incentives and subsidies can play a crucial role in making electric vehicles more affordable for a broader audience.
2. Range Anxiety
Although range anxiety has been alleviated to some extent with improved battery technology and charging infrastructure, it remains a concern for some consumers. Expanding the charging network further and promoting public awareness of charging station locations can help address this issue.
3. Limited Model Availability
Currently, the selection of electric vehicle models available in Australia is more limited compared to traditional vehicles. Encouraging automakers to offer a broader range of electric vehicle options can cater to different consumer preferences and needs.
4. Grid Infrastructure
The mass adoption of electric vehicles will place additional demands on the electricity grid. To ensure a smooth transition, grid infrastructure must be upgraded to accommodate the increased load and ensure stable and reliable power supply for electric vehicles. As the number of EV charging stations increases, so too will demand.
Australia’s electric vehicle uptake is on an upward trajectory, driven by increasing environmental awareness, government incentives, technology advancements, cost savings, corporate commitments, and charging infrastructure expansion. As these trends continue, the country moves closer to a future where sustainable transportation is the norm rather than the exception. However, to achieve widespread adoption, addressing challenges related to upfront costs, range anxiety, model availability, and grid infrastructure is crucial. Through collaborative efforts from governments, industries, and consumers, Australia can accelerate the transition towards a cleaner and greener transportation system, contributing significantly to global efforts to combat climate change and create a more sustainable future for generations to come.
As the world shifts towards a more sustainable future, electric vehicles (EVs) have emerged as a key component of the transition to clean and efficient transportation. With the rise of EVs, the development of reliable and accessible electric car charging solutions becomes increasingly important. In this article, we will delve into the future of mobility by exploring the various electric car charging solutions available today. From home charging to public infrastructure, we will provide friendly and helpful insights into the evolving landscape of electric car charging. So, let’s dive in and discover the exciting world of electric vehicle charging!
1. Home Charging
Home charging is the most convenient and accessible option for many electric vehicle owners. By installing a dedicated charging station at home, EV owners can conveniently charge their vehicles overnight or during periods of low electricity demand. Here are a few key points about home charging:
Home charging stations, also known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), provide a safe and efficient way to charge your electric vehicle. These stations can be installed by certified installers such as Pro EVand are compatible with various EV models.
Level 1 vs. Level 2 Charging
Level 1 charging utilizes a standard 120-volt household outlet, offering a slower charging rate, typically adding 2-5 miles of range per hour. Level 2 charging, on the other hand, requires a 240-volt outlet and provides faster charging speeds, typically adding 10-25 miles of range per hour.
Some home charging stations come equipped with smart charging capabilities, allowing users to schedule charging sessions, monitor energy usage, and take advantage of off-peak electricity rates. This helps optimize charging efficiency and reduce costs.
2. Public Charging Infrastructure
To support long-distance travel and provide charging options for those without access to home charging, public charging infrastructure plays a vital role. Public charging stations are strategically located in parking lots, shopping centers, highways, and other public spaces. Here’s what you need to know about public charging infrastructure.
Level 2 and DC Fast Charging
Public charging stations offer Level 2 (240-volt) charging as well as DC Fast Charging (DCFC). DCFC stations provide high-power charging, allowing EV owners to rapidly recharge their vehicles, typically adding 60-80 miles of range in just 20-30 minutes.
Various charging network providers offer access to a wide range of public charging stations through membership programs or pay-as-you-go options. These providers maintain and expand the charging infrastructure, ensuring a reliable network of charging stations.
Mobile Apps and Maps
EV drivers can easily locate and navigate to available charging stations using mobile apps and online maps. These tools provide real-time information about station availability, pricing, and compatibility with different EV models.
3. Workplace and Destination Charging
Workplace and destination charging stations are increasingly common, providing EV owners with additional charging opportunities while they work, shop, or dine. These charging stations contribute to the overall accessibility and convenience of electric vehicle ownership. Consider the following points:
Many companies and organizations are installing charging stations in their parking lots to support employee adoption of electric vehicles. Workplace charging allows EV owners to conveniently charge their vehicles during working hours, increasing EV adoption rates.
Hotels, shopping centers, and other destinations often offer EV charging stations to attract environmentally conscious customers. Destination charging provides peace of mind for EV owners, knowing they can top up their vehicle’s battery while enjoying their visit.
4. Emerging Technologies
The future of electric car charging is continually evolving, with ongoing advancements and emerging technologies on the horizon. These technologies aim to improve charging efficiency, reduce charging times, and enhance the overall EV ownership experience. Here are a few noteworthy advancements:
Researchers and industry experts are developing ultra-fast charging technologies that can add significant range to an EV’s battery in a matter of minutes. These advancements are poised to revolutionize long-distance travel and address range anxiety concerns.
Wireless charging systems, also known as inductive charging, are being developed to allow EVs to charge by simply parking over a charging pad. This technology eliminates the need for physical cables and connectors, further streamlining the charging process.
Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Integration
V2G technology allows electric vehicles to not only draw power from the grid but also send excess electricity back into the grid when needed. This bi-directional flow of energy has the potential to stabilize the grid and create a more dynamic and sustainable energy ecosystem.
Electric car charging solutions are rapidly evolving to meet the growing demand for sustainable mobility. From home charging to public infrastructure, workplace and destination charging to emerging technologies, the future of electric car charging holds great promise. As the world shifts towards cleaner transportation, it is essential to embrace and support the development of reliable and accessible charging solutions. By exploring these various options and advancements, we can drive the transition to a sustainable and electrified future of mobility.
Biomass logistics involves all the unit operations necessary to move biomass wastes from the land to the biomass energy plant. The biomass can be transported directly from farm or from stacks next to the farm to the processing plant. Biomass may be minimally processed before being shipped to the plant, as in case of biomass supply from the stacks. Generally the biomass is trucked directly from farm to the biomass processing facility if no processing is involved.
Another option is to transfer the biomass to a central location where the material is accumulated and subsequently dispatched to the energy conversion facility. While in depot, the biomass could be pre-processed minimally (ground) or extensively (pelletized). The depot also provides an opportunity to interface with rail transport if that is an available option. The choice of any of the options depends on the economics and cultural practices. For example in irrigated areas, there is always space on the farm (corner of the land) where quantities of biomass can be stacked.
Reduce the number of passes through the field by amalgamating collection operations.
Increase the bulk density of biomass
Work with minimal moisture content.
Granulation/pelletization is the best option, though the existing technology is expensive.
Trucking seems to be the most common mode of biomass transportation option but rail and pipeline may become attractive once the capital costs for these transport modes are reduced.
The logistics of transporting, handling and storing the bulky and variable biomass material for delivery to the biopower plant is a key part of the biomass supply chain that is often overlooked by project developers. Whether the biomass comes from forest residues on hill country, straw residues from cereal crops grown on arable land, or the non-edible components of small scale, subsistence farming systems, the relative cost of collection will be considerable.
Careful development of a system to minimize machinery use, human effort and energy inputs can have a considerable impact on the cost of the biomass as delivered to the biomass processing plant gate.
The logistics of supplying a biomass power plant with consistent and regular volumes of biomass are complex.
Most of the agricultural biomass resources tend to have a relatively low energy density compared with fossil fuels. This often makes handling, storage and transportation more costly per unit of energy carried. Some crop residues are often not competitive because the biomass resource is dispersed over large areas leading to high collection and transport costs.
The costs for long distance haulage of bulky biomass will be minimized if the biomass can be sourced from a location where it is already concentrated, such as sugar mill. It can then be converted in the nearby biomass energy plant to more transportable forms of energy carrier if not to be utilized on-site.
The logistics of supplying a biopower plant with sufficient volumes of biomass from a number of sources at suitable quality specifications and possibly all year round, are complex. Agricultural residues can be stored on the farm until needed. Then they can be collected and delivered directly to the conversion plant on demand. At times this requires considerable logistics to ensure only a few days of supply are available on-site but that the risk of non-supply at any time is low.
Losses of dry matter, and hence of energy content, commonly occur during the harvest transport and storage process. This can either be from physical losses of the biomass material in the field during the harvest operation or dropping off a truck, or by the reduction of dry matter of biomass material which occurs in storage over time as a result of respiration processes and as the product deteriorates. Dry matter loss is normally reduced over time if the moisture content of the biomass can be lowered or oxygen can be excluded in order to constrain pathological action.
To ensure sufficient and consistent biomass supplies, all agents involved with the production, collection, storage, and transportation of biomass require compensation for their share of costs incurred. In addition, a viable biomass production and distribution system must include producer incentives, encouraging them to sell their post-harvest plant residue.
Transporting biomass fuel to a power plant is an important aspect of any biomass energy project. Because a number of low moisture fuels can be readily collected and transported to a centralized biomass plant location or aggregated to enhance project size, this opportunity should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
It will be a good proposition to develop biomass energy plants at the location where the bulk of the agricultural waste stream is generated, without bearing the additional cost of transporting waste streams. Effective capture and use of thermal energy at the site for hot water, steam, and even chilled water requirements raises the energy efficiency of the project, thereby improving the value of the waste-to-energy project.
The hauling distance for biomass transportation to the processing plant.
Transportation infrastructure available between the points of biomass dispatch and processing plant
Transportation is primarily concerned with loading and unloading operation and transferring biomass from pre-processing sites to the main processing plant or biorefinery. Truck transport and for a few cases train transport may be the only modes of transport. Barge and pipeline transport and often train transport involve truck transport. Trucks interface with trains at loading and unloading facilities of a depot or processing facility. Barge and pipeline require interfacing with train and/or truck transport at major facilities either on land or at the shores.
Physical form and quality of biomass has the greatest influence on the selection of handling equipment for the lowest delivered cost possible. A higher bulk density will allow more mass of material to be transported per unit distance. Truck transport is generally well developed, is usually cheapest mode of transport but it becomes expensive as travel distance increases. Pipeline biomass transport is the least known technology and may prove to be the cheapest and safest mode of transport in the near future.
Transportation costs of low-density and high-moisture agricultural residues are a major constraint to their use as an energy source. As a rule of thumb, transportation distances beyond a 25–50- km radius (depending on local infrastructure) are uneconomical. For long distances, agricultural residues could be compressed as bales or briquettes in the field, rendering transport to the site of use a viable option.
Greater use of biomass and larger scale conversion systems demand larger scale feedstock handling and delivery infrastructure. To accommodate expansion in feedstock collection and transportation, production centres can be established where smaller quantities of biomass are consolidated, stored, and transferred to long-distance transportation systems, in much the same way that transfer stations are used in municipal waste handling. Preprocessing equipment may be used to densify biomass, increasing truck payloads and reducing transportation costs over longer haul distances.
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