The conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to biofuel and renewable chemicals has the potential to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. However, making the production of biomass-based fuels and chemicals economically competitive, a number of challenges has to be addressed, including the the design and operation of an efficient supply chain.
We develop stochastic mixed integer optimization models for the design and operational planning of biofuel SCs that account for seasonal biomass supply and the uncertainty in that supply. The proposed models account for technology selection and capacity planning decisions, as well as biomass allocation to depots and biorefineries, and inventory planning decisions. Additionally, our current efforts focus on the integration of spatially explicit biomass production data with the concept of landscape design. Landscape design is the process of deciding where in the landscape to plant dedicated bioenergy crops and how to manage those crops. By solving the supply chain network design problem simultaneously with the landscape design problem, we hope to find integrated solutions that are more competitive economically and environmentally.