UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Trade-Offs between Economic and Environmental Optimization of the Forest Biomass Generation Supply Chain in Inner Mongolia, China Zhang, Min; Wang, Guangyu; Gao, Yi; Wang, Zhenqi; Mi, Feng


The utilization of forest residue to produce forest biomass energy can mitigate CO₂ emissions and generate additional revenue for related eco-enterprises and farmers. In China, however, the benefit of this utilization is still in question because of high costs and CO₂ emissions in the entire supply chain. In this paper, a multi-objective linear programming model (MLP) is employed to analyze the trade-offs between the economic and environmental benefits of all nodes within the forest biomass power generation supply chain. The MLP model is tested in the Mao Wu Su biomass Thermoelectric Company. The optimization results show that (1) the total cost and CO₂ emissions are decreased by US$98.4 thousand and 60.6 thousand kg, respectively; 3750 thousand kg of waste-wood products is reduced and 3750 thousand kg of sandy shrub stubble residue is increased; (2) 64% of chipped sandy shrub residue is transported directly from the forestland to the power plant, 36% of non-chipped sandy shrub residue is transported from the forestland to the power plant via the chipping plant; (3) transportation and chipping play a significant role in the supply chain; and (4) the results of a sensitivity analysis show that the farmer’s average transportation distance should be 84.13 km and unit chipping cost should be $0.01022 thousand for the optimization supply cost and CO₂ emissions. Finally, we suggest the following: (1) develop long-term cooperation with farmers; (2) buy chain-saws for regularly used farmers; (3) build several chipping plants in areas that are rich in sandy shrub.

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