UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The simulation modeling of supply logistics of forest biomass in British Columbia Mahmoudi, Mohammadhossein


The search for alternative energy sources has increased interests in forest biomass. During the last few years, the sever infestation of the Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) within the Interior BC forests has led to huge volumes of dead wood that exceed the capacity of the lumber industry. One way to make the most value of the surplus wood is to use it as the feedstock for bioenergy. The forest biomass can be supplied through conventional (roadside residuals), full-tree chipping, or satellite yard systems. This thesis presents the development of a simulation model of supply logistics of forest biomass and its application to a case of supplying MPB-killed biomass from Quesnel Timber Supply Area (one of the most infested areas in the Interior BC) to a potential 300 MW power plant adjacent to the city of Quesnel. The model has the ability of providing estimates of quantity, delivery cost, and moisture content of biomass which are critical in feasibility study of any bioenergy project. The results obtained from simulation model showed a delivery cost of C$45 per oven dry tonne of wood chips to the power plant. The results also revealed that the feedstock recovered from roadside residues in one year meets about 30% of the annual demand of the power plant. Potential increase in the Allowable Annual Cut (AAC) for Quesnel TSA increases the quantity of biomass supplied from roadside residuals. However, as long as the biomass is supplied only through conventional harvesting, increasing the AAC even by 40% does not provide enough feedstock to meet the annual demand of the plant. Using the simulation modeling, this research has the benefit of considering the logistics of forest biomass supply as an integrated and interacting system as well as providing different critical parameters over time. The model also has the potential of considering dynamic and random behavior of the logistics system of supplying forest biomass. The model can be modified and applied to similar cases of conventional forest biomass supply. It also can be extended to other harvesting systems including satellite yard and whole-tree chipping.

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