Preliminary evaluation of a short rotation forestry poplar biomass supply chain in Emilia Romagna Region


Woody Biomasses (from agriculture and forestry activities) are among the most promising renewable energy sources. Current literature describes woody biomass feedstock supply chains supporting biofuels and utilities industries: the potentially productive land area overheads required for biomass production may results in a complex logistic within the whole chain. Its effective enhancement requires significant changes in the logistics environment of energy plants for sustainable energy production and the sequence-dependent procurement chains for biomasses furthermore complicate these changes. According to this, optimizing harvesting and supplying operations turns out to be strategic within the framework of the current energy policy. In this work we present a case study carried out monitoring 57 short rotation forestry (SRF) production sites placed in Emilia Romagna Region, Northern Italy, all supplying the harvested biomass to the same biomass power plant placed in the province of Ravenna (Italy). The overall average yield of these sites was 55 t/ha, the site surfaces ranged from 0.3 to 20 hectares and the distance from the power plant ranged between 8.2 to 102 km with one production site only within 10 km from the power plant. Harvest and transport costs were calculated according to two different harvesting scenarios: i) single phase harvesting (one cutting/chopping machine + tractors and trailers); ii) double phase harvesting (cutting/mowing machine followed after 80 days by chopping machine + tractors and trailers). Results show that, according to the first scenario, at increasing distances overall harvesting and transport costs ranged from 8.9 to 21.0 ± 1.3 􀀍/t (average ± standard deviation), while, with reference to the second scenario, they increased from 10.3 to 23.8 ± 1.5 􀀍/t with the transportation costs accounting from 16 to almost 70% of the total costs.


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SRF biomass harvesting optimization, transport costs.
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How to Cite
Pari, L., Brambilla, M., Civitarese, V., & Bisaglia, C. (2013). Preliminary evaluation of a short rotation forestry poplar biomass supply chain in Emilia Romagna Region. Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 44(2s).

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