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Computers and Chemical Engineering 87 (2016) 6881

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Computers and Chemical Engineering

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/compchemeng

Strategic optimisation of biomass-based energy supply chains for

sustainable mobility
Federico dAmore, Fabrizio Bezzo
CAPE-Lab Computer-Aided Process Engineering Laboratory, Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padova, via Marzolo 9, I-35131 Padova,

a r t i c l e

a b s t r a c t

i n f o

Article history:
Received 9 November 2015
Received in revised form
17 December 2015
Accepted 5 January 2016
Available online 13 January 2016
Alternative fuel vehicle
Bioethanol and bioelectricity supply chain
First and second generation
Indirect land use change
Multi-objective optimisation

The identication of alternative and sustainable energy sources has been one of the fundamental research
goals of the last two decades, and the transport sector plays a key role in this challenge. Electric cars and
biofuel fed vehicles may contribute to tackle this formidable issue. According to this perspective, a multiechelon supply chain is here investigated considering biomass cultivation, transport, conversion into
bioethanol or bioelectricity, distribution, and nal usage in alternative bifuel (ethanol and petrol) and
electric vehicles. Multiperiod and spatially explicit features are introduced in a Mixed Integer Linear
Programming (MILP) modelling framework where economic (in terms of Net Present Value) and environmental (in terms of Greenhouse Gases emissions) objectives are simultaneously taken into account.
The rst and second generation bioethanol production supply chain is matched with a biopower production supply chain assessing multiple technologies. Both corn grain and stover are considered as biomass
sources. In the environmental analysis, the impact on emissions caused by indirect Land Use Change
(iLUC) effects is also assessed. Results will show the efcacy of the methodology at providing stakeholders with a quantitative tool to optimise the economic and environmental performance of different
supply chain congurations.
2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
The global energy consumption by transport has grown by 2%
per year since 2000 and accounted for 28% of the overall energy
consumption in 2012 (IEA, 2015). Considering that the road transport almost totally relies on petroleum derived fuels, diminishing
the mobility dependency on fossil fuels may represent not only a
strategic decision, but also an environmental necessity. One possibility to reach that goal is the establishment of the production
of biofuels and bioelectricity for alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs).
On the one hand, biofuels have played a highly signicant role in
the search for alternatives as they have seemed to many the only
feasible approach to replace petroleum-based traditional fuels in
the transport sector. On the other hand, the recent introduction of
the electric vehicles (EVs) in the private eet market offers a new
possibility to reduce the petroleum dependency.

No parts of this paper may be reproduced or elsewhere used without the prior
written permission of the authors.
Corresponding author. Tel.: +39 0498275468; fax: +39 049 827 5461.
E-mail address: fabrizio.bezzo@unipd.it (F. Bezzo).
0098-1354/ 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

In regards to both biofuel and bioenergy, many Process Systems Engineering (PSE) approaches focusing on the Supply Chain
(SC) design and optimisation through mathematical programming (typically Mixed Integer Linear Programming MILP) have
been recently proposed. With concern to biofuels (in fact, mainly
bioethanol), contributions have dealt either with the maximisation
of the economic performance (e.g. Dunnett et al., 2008; Zamboni
et al., 2009a), also by considering uncertainty effects (e.g. DalMas et al., 2011; Kim et al., 2011), or the interaction between
different players (Bai et al., 2012; Yue and You, 2014a,b) or with
the minimisation of the environmental impact (Garcia and You,
2015), typically through a multi-objective optimisation approach
(e.g. Zamboni et al., 2009b; You and Wang, 2011). For a more comprehensive review, see also Yue et al. (2014c). The design of SCs
for bioenergy production has also been optimised in a similar way.
Many mathematical models for biomass production centres and
conversion facilities location have been carried out (e.g. Fiorese
et al., 2005; Freppaz et al., 2004; Voivontas et al., 2001), also combining a detailed energy conversion optimisation with energy/heat
transportation costs (Sderman and Pettersson, 2006). For instance,
Bruglieri and Liberti (2008) proposed a mathematical programming
approach for planning and running an energy production system
process based on burning different biomasses. Contributions have

F. dAmore, F. Bezzo / Computers and Chemical Engineering 87 (2016) 6881

List of symbols
g G

grid squares, G = {1,. . .,60}

set of square regions different than g
biomass types, I = {corn, stover}
product types, J = {ethanol, DDGS, power}
production technologies, K = {1,2,3,4,11,22,33}
transport means, L = {truck, rail, barge, ship, tship}
discretisation intervals for plant size linearisation,
P = {1,. . .,6}
life cycle stages, S = {bg, bpt, bt, fp, epow, fd, fdist, ebat,
ebifuel, ec}
time periods, T = {1,. . .,5}

elec (k) K subset of pure power production technologies,
fratio (k) = {11, 22, 33}

conversion factor specic for DDGS, 0.954

tonDDGS /tonEtOH

xed costs % over incomes, 0.15
emission in battery production, 3046.924 kg of CO2 eq/EV
emission in bifuel car driving, 0.005515 kg of CO2 
ethanol lower heating value, 26.952 GJ/tonEtOH

ethanol density, 0.7891 tonne/l

MWh to tonne ethanol conversion, 0.133570792
tonethanol /MWh

MWh/year to number of EVs conversion,
1.896918157 MWh/EV/year
domestic electric charger 1.4 kW cost, 59.055
D /newEV
differential EVs purchasing cost, 5000 D /newEV
KMcost differential EVs driving cost, 0.03 D /kmEV
kmCAR average daily trip in Italy, 45 km/day
64825.42357 km/tonne



average ethanol-petrol distribution diameter, km
arable land density (km2 arable /km2 grid surface )
BCDmax g maximum cultivation density in region g,
km2 cultivation /km2 arable land
discount factor for investments at time t
discount factor for cash ow at time t
CFdfCARt discount factor for cash ows at time t for EVs
etperct ethanol blending percentage at time t
differential EVs purchasing cost reduction at time t
gasolTOTt total number of traditional petrol eet at time t
renewCAR1t relative number of old EVs to be substituted
with new ones at t = 4
renewCAR2t relative number of old EVs to be substituted
with new ones at t = 5
exceeding electricity production specic for each
conversion technology k, kWhel /lEtOH
ethanol production rate for each plant size p,
tonEtOH /month
electricity production rate for each plant size p,
conversion factor specic for each biomass type i,

tonEtOH /tonbiomass

grid surface, km2

market price for product j
biomass i availability for ethanol production in
region g, tonne/time period
fraction of ethanol rate from biomass type i for each
technology k
fraction of biomass i fed to CHP for each technology
biomass yield of product i in region g,
tonbiomass /time period/km2
capital investment at each linearisation interval p
and for technology k, MD
coefcients for the linear regression of production
costs for each technology k, slope [D /tonEtOH ] and
intercept [D ]
emission factor for biomass i growth in grid g and
biomass, kg CO2 -eq/tonbiomass
emission factor for biomass i pre-treatment, kg CO2 eq/tonbiomass
emission factor for biomass supply via mode l, kg
CO2 -eq/tonbiomass km2
emission factor for ethanol production from
biomass i, kg CO2 -eq/tonEtOH
emission factor for power production from biomass
i, kg CO2 -eq/MWh
emission factor for ethanol distribution via mode l,
kg CO2 -eq/tonEtOH km2
emission credits for each technology k, kg CO2 eq/tonEtOH
local delivery distance between grids g and g, km
production costs linearised for size p and conversion
technology k, D /time period
plant capacity of size p used for cost linearisation,
tonne/time period
power factor for capital cost estimation for conversion technology k
tortuosity factor of transport mode l between g and
unit production costs for biomass type i in grid g,
D /tonbiomass
biomass conversion into electricity, MWh/tonbiomass

Continuous variables
bifuelCARSt number of bifuel vehicles at time t
bifuelKMt total distance travelled by bifuel vehicles at time t,
CapEleci,k,g,t supply of biomass i to plant of technology k in
region g at time t, tonne/month
biomass production constant time t, D /time period
discounted Cumulative Cash Flow, D
Cash Flow at time t, D /time period
Depreciation at time t, D /time period
ethanol production cost at time t, D /time period
ELtotk,g,t energy produced at time t by plant k in region g,
ethanol produced at time t, tonne/month
EVs market share at time t
extra costs for EVs eet, D /time period
discounted facilities capital costs, D
facilities capital costs at time t, D /time period
xed cost at time t, D /time period
Impacts,t impact for life cycle stage s at time t, kg CO2 -eq/time
gross earnings at time t, D /time period



F. dAmore, F. Bezzo / Computers and Chemical Engineering 87 (2016) 6881


linearisation variables for TCI at interval p and for

technology k, in region g at time t
p,k,g,t linearisation variables for TCI at interval p and for
technology k, in region g at time t
net present value, D
NPVchain net present value for SC prot, D
net present value for EVs eet, D
nCARSt number of EVs at time t
newCARSt number of new EVs at time t
objective function expressed as the negative of NPV,
D , or as overall impact, tonne CO2 -eq
prot before taxes for production technology k at
time t, D /time period
production rate of biomass i in region g at time t,
tonne/time period
power production rate from biomass i through technology k in region g at time t, tee/month
power production cost at time t, D /time period
PTOT j,k,g,t total production rate for product j through technology k in region g at time t, tonne/time period or
MWh/time period
Pototg,t energy produced in region g at time t, tonne/month
powerKMt total distance travelled by EVs at time t,
money saved driving EVs rather than petrol ones,
D /time period
tax amount at time t, D /time period
biomass transport cost at time t, D /time period
products transport cost at time t, D /time period
ethanol transport cost at time t, D /time period
total capital investment at time t, D
total ethanol and power demand at time t,
total ethanol demand at time t, tonne/month
TDpowt total power demand at time t, tee/month
total GHG impact, kg of CO2 -eq
total impact at time t, kg CO2 -eq/time period
total ethanol and power production at time t,
total ethanol production at time t, tonne/month
TPpowt total power production at time t, tee/month
variable costs at time t, D /time period
objective objective selection variable
Binary variables
1 if a production facility k of size p is to be established
in region g at time t, 0 otherwise
1 if a production facility k is already established in
region g at time t, 0 otherwise
1 if the establishment of a new conversion facility k
is to be planned in region g during time period t, 0
1 if the establishment of a new conversion facility
k is to be planned in region g at the beginning, 0
Alternative Fuel Vehicle
Combined Heat and Power
Combustion and Rankine Cycle
Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles
Dry-Grind Process
European Union

G + TG

Electric Vehicle
Greenhouse Gas
Gasication and Internal Combustion Engine
Gasication and Turbo Gas cycle
Integrated Grain-Stover Process
Life Cycle Analysis
Ligno-Cellulosic Ethanol Process
Mixed Integer Linear Programming
Net Present Value
Supply Chain

dealt either with the maximisation of the economic performance

(e.g. Patel et al., 2011; Moon et al., 2011; Kumar et al., 2010; Wang
et al., 2009) or with the minimisation of the environmental impact
cek et al. (2010) proposed
(Muench, 2014; Rickeard et al., 2004). Cu
an MILP model for the economic optimisation of a bioenergy network in a regional context; the generation of different types of
energy products, heat, electricity, biofuels and food was taken into
cek et al. (2012) also proposed a framework
account. Later on, Cu
where the design of regional biomass SCs is obtained under the
simultaneous maximisation of the economic performance and the
minimisation of the environmental and social footprints.
Other studies have mainly focused on a well to wheel life cycle
analysis (LCA) of alternative vehicles. Most contributions have
focused on EVs, usually demonstrating the potential benets in
terms of GHG emissions reduction (e.g. Sandy, 2012), although the
effective impact is shown to be highly dependent on the technology used for electricity production (Onat et al., 2015; Tessum et al.,
2014). A study by Campbell et al. (2009) suggested that bioelectricity is more energetically and environmentally sustainable than
ethanol, especially if rst generation technologies are taken into
In general, as discussed above, available studies focused on the
optimisation of upstream SCs for ethanol or electricity production
or analysed the environmental effects of the technologies. However, to our knowledge no study have been presented where both
the production SC and vehicle utilisation are simultaneously taken
into account and optimised for a strategic assessment of biomass
exploitation. This work aims at bridging this gap by introducing a modelling framework where the whole production SC for
ethanol and/or electricity and the nal customer needs are optimised according to both economic and environmental objectives.
Both corn grain and stover will be considered as biomass choices
and several technological options will be taken into account to
produce either ethanol and/or electricity. Site location and scale,
logistic infrastructure denition (biomass or bioethanol transport)
and end user demand evolution for AFVs (bifuel or EVs) will
be simultaneously incorporated within the optimisation model
according to the spatially explicit Northern Italy framework already
presented by Zamboni et al. (2009a, 2009b) and Giarola et al. (2011).
The economic performance of the entire network will be assessed
in terms of the SC Net Present Value (NPV) and of the end user
potential savings in purchasing and driving an AFV instead of a traditional one. The environmental performance of the system will be
evaluated in terms of GHG emissions, by considering the impact
of each single life cycle stage and also incorporating the potential
consequences related to indirect Land Use Change (iLUC).
This study is organised as follows. First, the general modelling
framework of the SC is presented; the subsequent section describes
the mathematical formulation of the model. The main case studies
are then introduced and, eventually, the results of the bi-objective
optimisation are presented and discussed. Some nal remarks conclude the work.

F. dAmore, F. Bezzo / Computers and Chemical Engineering 87 (2016) 6881

2. Assumptions and problem statement

This paper deals with the strategic design and planning of an
industrial SC for the production of bioethanol and bioelectricity in
North Italy over a 15-years time horizon. The design process is
conceived as a multi-objective optimisation problem aiming at: (i)
the maximisation of the nancial performance of the business (in
terms of global NPV), and (ii) the minimisation of the impact on
global warming (in terms of overall GHG emissions). The problem
is formulated as a spatially explicit multi-period and multi-echelon
modelling framework devised for the strategic design and investment planning of biofuels and biopower supply networks.
The entire network can be divided into two main substructures:
(i) the upstream network, dealing with biomass growth, biomass
pre-treatment and transport to the conversion facilities, and (ii)
the downstream network, dealing with products production, distribution and nal usage by end user. This study integrates the
multi-objective MILP modelling framework proposed by Giarola et
al. (2011), representing the dynamic evolution of a bioethanol SC
localised in North Italy, with biopower production and the implementation of end user-related stages (in terms of AFVs eet).
As depicted in Fig. 1, the set of LCA stages s considered in
the evaluation are given by biomass growth (bg), biomass pretreatment (bpt), biomass transport (bt), bioethanol production (fp),
biopower production (epow), bioethanol transport (fd), fuel distribution (fdist), bifuel vehicles usage (ebifuel), EVs usage (ecars),
batteries production (ebat) and, nally, emission credits (ec) in
terms of GHG saving (as a result of goods or energy displacement
by process by-products end-use).
The environmental performance of the system, including issues
such as potential differences in vehicle conversion efciency, as
well as vehicle technology for petrol (gasoline) progressive substitution, is based on two main assumptions: (i) carbon dioxide
emissions resulting from the combustion of biofuels (in bifuel vehicles) are assumed to offset the carbon dioxide captured during crop
growth; and (ii) carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the combustion of biomass or syngas (in power plants) are assumed to offset
the carbon dioxide captured during crop growth. However, CH4 and
N2 O emissions are taken into account.
The GHG overall impact is evaluated in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent emission (CO2 -eq), using the same assumptions as
Giarola et al. (2011) and considering the contribution of the same
gases (CO2 , CH4 , N2 O). In regards to AFVs, their environmental performance is calculated with respect to traditional petrol vehicles.
On the one hand, by assuming that bifuel vehicles have the same
engine and identical energy efciency as traditional petrol cars, the


emissions of bifuel vehicles only depend on the biofuel quota combustion while driving (ebifuel in Fig. 1). On the other hand, EVs
(ecars) manufacturing and usage is assumed not to produce any
extra CO2 -eq emissions, apart from those related to battery production (ebat), which should be adjusted by removing the contribution
related to the construction of the combustion engine (which is not
installed in EVs). However, several studies in the literature (Faria
et al., 2013) show that: (i) the battery contribution in terms of GHG
emission is almost comparable with the impact deriving by the
whole vehicle production; and (ii) there is no signicant difference
in the environmental impact between EV and traditional vehicle
manufactures. Thus, the impact of the combustion engine production can be reasonably neglected. With concern to the nal product
distribution, it is assumed that the already existing infrastructure
for both electricity and liquid fuels may be exploited; accordingly
no environmental impact is assigned to the infrastructure distribution stages. However, we incorporated in the environmental
balance the bioethanol CO2 -eq emission quota (fdist) related to the
fuel transportation by truck (from blending terminals to end users).
Conversely, the costs related to the bioethanol distribution do not
need to be accounted for; this depends on the way the overall NPV
is represented. As will be detailed in Section 3, the NPV related to
the production SC (from corn cultivation down to bioethanol distribution to the depots) is handled separately from the NPV concerned
with the AFVs. In particular, the latter is formulated as a differential
cost between an EV and a bifuel vehicle. Since ethanol distribution
costs are comprised in the fuel liquid price (as much as electricity
distribution costs are within the electricity market price) and the
distribution conguration from depots to nal gas station is not
included in the optimisation problem, there is no need to have an
explicit representation.
On the basis of the above mentioned assumptions, the design
problem can be formulated as follow. Given the following inputs:
geographical distribution of ethanol demand centres;
bioethanol and bioelectricity demand over the entire time horizon;
biomass geographical availability;
biomass production costs as function of geographical region;
technical and economic parameters as function of biomass type,
conversion technology and plant scale;
environmental burdens of biomass production as a function of
biomass type and geographical region;
environmental burdens of bioethanol and bioelectricity production as a function of biomass type and conversion technology;

Fig. 1. Global SC network.


F. dAmore, F. Bezzo / Computers and Chemical Engineering 87 (2016) 6881

transport logistics (e.g. typology, costs, emissions) and allowed

fuel distribution from terminal to end user;
electricity distribution network efciency;
ethanol market price;
electricity market price;
AFVs features (e.g. efciency, costs, consumptions, average distances, emissions);
the objective is to study, both economically (in terms of global
NPV maximisation) and environmentally (in terms of carbon footprint minimisation) the entire SC of bioreneries and power plants.
Therefore, the key variables to be optimised over the planning time
horizon are:

geographical location of biomass production sites;

biomass production rate and feedstock mix to the plant;
bioethanol facilities technology selection, location and scale;
biopower facilities technology selection, location and scale;
characterisation of transport logistics;
nancial performance of the industrial SC over the time horizon;
nancial performance of end user economy over the time horizon;
demands quota evolution over the time horizon (Instance B);
system impact on global warming.
The overall time horizon has been divided into ve time intervals (each three-years long), starting from 2015.

prot (NPVchain [D ]) and the end user savings or costs (NPVcar [D ])

in driving EVs instead of bifuel vehicles1 :
NPV = NPVchain + NPVcar

In other words, on the one side we separate the economics of

the production SC from the economic interest of the nal customer.
On the other side, the impact on nal customer is represented as
a cost difference with respect to a bifuel car. Note that the overall optimisation results in terms of the SC conguration would not
change if NPVcar were described as the actual cost of buying and
using bifuel or EVs. Also note that NPVcar is not an actual and tangible prot; it represents an economic advantage or burden when
moving from traditional cars to EVs and can be interpreted as a
market assessing metric to forecast AFVs penetration. The NPVchain
is calculated by summing up the discounted cumulative cash ows
(CCF [D ]) minus the capital investment required to establish both
biofuels and biopower production facilities (FCC [D ]). Accordingly:
NPVchain = CCF FCC

The general modelling framework was formulated as a MILP

problem according to the mathematical features outlined in Giarola
et al. (2011). In particular, we retained the mathematical formulation for:

NPVcar = RISP exCO

objective functions general denition;

bioethanol SC economics;
cost linearisation;
logical constraints and mass balances;
environmental issues related to bioethanol SC.


Similarly to what was proposed by Zamboni et al. (2009b), the

value of TGHG is estimated by summing up the total impacts TIt [kg
of CO2 -eq/time period], which in this case result from the operation
of the production chain and the AFVs utilisation for each time period



3.2. Economics

On the other hand, the following new features were implemented:


The second objective function Objenv aims at minimising the

total GHG impact (TGHG [kg of CO2 -eq]) which results from the
operation of the bioethanol and the biopower SC over the 15-years
time horizon. Accordingly:



while NPVcar is calculated by summing up the potential saving

in driving EVs instead of bifuel ones (RISP [D ]) minus essential extra
costs occurred to buy EVs (exCO [D ]):

Objenv = TGHG
3. Mathematical formulation


The following sub-sections will mainly discuss the differences in

the mathematical formulation with respect to Giarola et al. (2011),
concerning the characterisation of the biopower SC and of the AFVs
3.2.1. Modelling the biopower SC
The terms CCF and FCC for the NPVchain calculation of Eq. (3) are
evaluated as in Giarola et al. (2011):

biopower SC economics;
end user AFVs-related economics;
environmental issues related to biopower SC;
environmental issues related to AFVs utilisation.


CFt dfCFt




New formulations and adjustments are discussed in the following. Further details can be found in Section 4 and in the
Supplementary data.
3.1. Objective functions
The rst objective function is the maximisation of the NPV [D ]
of the entire business, which is here expressed as the minimisation
of its opposite value:
Objeco = NPV


One important difference with respect to Giarola et al. (2011)

is that here the NPV is calculated by summing the industrial SC



where CFt [D ] is the cash ow for each time period t, TCIt [D ] is the
total capital investment and dfCFt and dfTCIt are the time dependent
discount factors. Both CFt and TCIt are discounted through the factors which are collected in the two different arrays dfCFt and dfTCIt .
The future interest rate has been assumed to be constant and equal

Since in this study we are comparing AFVs end user-related economics with
respect to bifuel vehicles in terms of costs per km driven (through the differential
variable NPVcar ) there is no need to describe bifuel vehicles economics through a
specic formulation.

F. dAmore, F. Bezzo / Computers and Chemical Engineering 87 (2016) 6881

to 10% as resulting from the application of the CAPM (Capital Asset

Pricing Model) rule.
The value of TCIt in Eq. (8) is calculated as in Giarola et al. (2011)
by summing up the expenditures needed to establish the production facilities planned at each time period t according to their capital
investment CIp,k (see Section 4):

TCIt =


p,k,g,t CIp,k

where plan

p,k,g,t is a continuous planning variable which is assigned

a non-zero value only for the time period t in which the investment
decision occurs.
The value of CFt in Eq. (7) is given by the following relation:

CFt = PBTt + Dt TAXt


where Dt [D /time period] and TAXt [D /time period], which are

respectively the depreciation charge and the tax amount for each
time period t, are unchanged with respect to Giarola et al. (2011);
PBTt [D /time period] represents the prot before taxes and is calculated by summing up the business incomes (Inct [D /time period])
minus the overall operating costs, both xed (FixCt [D /time period],
evaluated as in Giarola et al., 2011) and variable (VarCt [D /time
period]), and minus the depreciation charge for each time period t:
PBTt = Inct VarC t FixC t Dt

Inct =




where PTOT j,k,g,t [tonne/time period or MWh/time period] is the production rate of the product j obtained from a conversion facility of
the technology k in the region g at the time period t, and MPj is the
market price of the product j [D /tonne or D /MWh]. The product j set
includes ethanol, power and DDGS whose amounts and proportions
depend on processing technology k. The details on technologies and
their formal representation for the economic analysis will be given
in Section 4. Conversely, the modelling approach to describe the
electricity production is discussed in Section 3.2.3.
The term VarCt of Eq. (11) is calculated by summing up the
main costs involved in the operation of the SC and, differently
from Giarola et al. (2011), also accounts for power generation costs
through the variable PPCt [D /tee]. Accordingly:
VarCt = EPCt + BPCt + PPCt + TCbt + TCft


where EPCt [D /tonne] represents ethanol production costs, BPCt

[D /tonne] represents biomass production costs, TCbt [D /tonne]
represents biomass transport costs and TCft represents ethanol
transport cost [D /tonne]. Power production costs (PPCt ) are dened
as a linear function of the total production rate of electricity from
power plants (ELtotk,g,t [MWh]) and a xed quota depending on the
production technology k adopted:
PPCt =

coefk,"slope" ELtotk,g,t + coefk,"intercept " Yk,g,t


k eleck

3.2.2. Modelling AFVs economics

As regards NPVcar in Eq. (4), the term RISP is evaluated as follows:



Further details about electricity production ELtotk,g,t can be

found in Section 3.2.3. In Eq. (14), coefk,slope [D /MWh] and
coefk,intercept [D /time period] are the arrays of linear coefcients
specic for each technology k, and Yk,g,t is the binary variable


where RISPt [D /time period] represents the potential savings by

end users in driving EVs instead of bifuel cars for each time period
t, which is discounted through the CFdfCARt factors for each time
period t. RISPt is evaluated by multiplying the global average
distance covered by EVs (powerKMt [km/time period]) for the differential travelling cost with respect to a bifuel vehicle ( KMcost
[D /km]):
RISPt = powerKMt KMcost


The value of KMcost is assumed to be 0.03 D for travelling 1 km

(Renault, 2015; Van Vliet et al., 2010; Kay et al., 2013), considering an average consumers electricity market price of 170 D /MWh
(Autorit per lenergia elettrica e il gas, 2015). On the other hand,
the discount factor CFdfCARt is calculated as follows:

CFdfCARt =

(1 + i)


The business incomes for each time period t (Inct ) come from
the sum of the total annual revenues earned through the sale of the
product j (i.e. ethanol, electricity or DDGS) obtained from a conversion facility of the technology k at the time period t. Accordingly:

accounting for whether a facility is operating with the conversion

technology k in the region g at the time period t.





where i represents the time period interest rate (for 3 years) and is
evaluated from the yearly interest rate i0 , which is set equal to 5%
as results from the application of the CAPM rule:

i = (1 + i0 ) 1


With concern to the NPVcar calculation of Eq. (4), the term exCO
is calculated by summing up the time dependent variable exCOt
[D /time period] for each time period t, discounted through the same
CFdfCARt factors utilised for Eq. (15):
exCO =

exCOt CFdfCARt


where exCOt represents the additional investment for end user to

buy an EV with respect to a bifuel one:
exCOt = newCARSt (charg + inc t )


In Eq. (20), newCARSt [new EVs/time period] represents the

global amount of new EVs purchased for each time period t, depending on the electricity market demand evolution. The constant charg
(set equal to 59 D /new EV according to Peterson and Michalek,
2013) represents the average cost of a domestic electric charger,
while the constant inc [D /new EV] evaluates the differential purchasing cost of an EV with respect to a bifuel one. This parameter
mostly depends on high production costs of batteries for electricity
storage, set nowadays just below 1000 D /kWh by Van Vliet et al.
(2010, 2011). This result is quite far from the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium long term commercialisation cost, set equal to 150
$/kWh (USABC, 2007). By taking into account also the Renault EVs
catalogue (2015) and Perujo and Ciuffo (2010), constant inc is set
equal to 5000 D per new EV purchased by the end user. The conversion of kWh of energy into number of EVs is operated through the
constant , which will be described in the following sub-sections.
The constant inc is decreased for each time period t, according to the
value of the t parameter. Hein et al. (2012) suggest a 74% decrease
for batteries production cost by 2030 (from 12,000 D /kWh at t = 1 to
3000 D /kWh at t = 5). An even more optimistic forecast is given by
Weiss et al. (2012), where an identical purchasing cost is foreseen
for EVs and bifuel cars in the European market in 2030. Averaging
out those results, the t value was set equal to 0.125, in order to
express a linear decrease of EVs differential purchasing cost at 2030


F. dAmore, F. Bezzo / Computers and Chemical Engineering 87 (2016) 6881

until 12.5% of the current value. The number of new EVs purchased
(newCARSt ) for each time period t, is calculated as follow:
newCARSt = (nCARSt nCARSt1 ) + renewCARSt=4 + renewCARSt=5

region g at time t is evaluated by summing up the contribution of

the bioreneries and of the power plants. Accordingly:

Ptotk,g,t = k


+ ELtotk,g,t


where renewCARSt represents the substitution of obsolete EVs for

new ones. Battery lifetime is supposed to be 10 years (Hein et al.,
2012). On the other hand, the variable nCARSt represents the cumulative amount of EVs for each time period t, depending on market

where ELtotk,g,t represents, as described in Eq. (22), power plants

electricity output, while the bioreneries contribution to the
power generation is taken into account through the parameter
k [kWh/lethanol ], representing the electric energy in excess with
respect to ethanol production, according to conversion technology
k. Constant  [tonne/l] stands for the ethanol density.

3.2.3. Modelling the economics of electricity generation

Details about biomass cultivation (bg), biomass pre-treatment
(bpt), biomass transport (bt) and ethanol production (fp) can be
found in Giarola et al. (2011). In this work, however, biomass
can be directly converted into electricity rather than ethanol. The
subset eleck of pure power generation is described inside the facility typology set k. Similarly to what was proposed for ethanol in
Giarola et al. (2011), power production ELtotk,g,t [MWh/month] by
facility k in region g at time t is set by means of the following

3.2.4. Demand evolution

In this study, market mathematical formulation is based on
two main assumptions: (i) the total transport energy demand is
assumed to be constant during the period of interest; and (ii) the
renewable transport energy is assumed to grow as will be described
in Section 4. Assuming to not store production, it is imposed that
the global ethanol (TPetht [tonethanol /month]) and power (TPpowt
[teepower /month]) production rates match exactly the ethanol
(TDetht [tonethanol /month]) and power (TDpowt [teepower /month])


PRp p,k,g,t

k eleck


where PRp [MWh/month] represents output rates according to the

plant scale p and p,k,g,t is a binary variable representing the existence of the facility k of the scale p in the region g at the time t. Eq.
(22) dened as an inequality allows for partial load working plants.
Facilities output variability from t to t + 1 is limited by:
ELtotk,g,t 0.8

PRp p,k,g,t

k eleck


TPetht = TDetht


TPpowt = TDpowt


Productions TPetht and TPpowt are given by:

TPetht =

TPpowt =


where zi,k [MWh/tonbiomass ] evaluates the biomass i conversion into

electricity by the power plants eleck . By using Ppi,k,g,t , it is possible
to evaluate variable ELtotk,g,t used in Eqs. (22) and (23) through
parameter betaei,k , describing the biomass i fraction input to facility

Power production technologies k, assumptions and related

parameters can be found in Section 4 and in the Supplementary
It is important to note that some biorenery technologies for
ethanol production also result in electricity generation through
the exploitation of DDGS for CHP production (see Section 4). Thus,
the overall power generation Ptotpower k,g,t from a generic plant k in





In other words, a facilities output maximum variability from

t to t + 1 is set equal to 20% (for power generation), according to
the coefcient 0.8 imposed in Eq. (23). Biomass feedstock2 is evaluated through the variable CapEleci,k,g,t [tonbiomass /month], which
represents the biomass i input to facility k in region g at time t.
Accordingly, the power generation Ppi,k,g,t [MWh/month] through
biomass i by plant k in region g at time t is set as follows:

Ppi,k,g,t = ELtotk,g,t betaei,k



Ppi,k,g,t = zi,k CapEleci,k,g,t


In the present study, the stover is the only suitable feedstock for pure power generation technologies. Nevertheless, a general feedstock-dependent formulation is
here presented, in order to permit the future implementation of additional biomass

where constant  in Eq. (30) allows the conversion of electricity

production Ptotpower k,g,t from MWh to ethanol equivalent tonnes
(tee) so as to allow summing up the contributions of different goods.
With concerns to electricity, an immediate and region-independent
distribution is assumed. Therefore, there is no need for describing
the regional biopower demand, according to its spatially implicit
AFVs penetration in traditional car eet depends on bioethanol
and biopower production evolutions. Bifuel vehicles bifuelCARSt
(i.e. fuelled by an ethanol and petrol blending) market penetration
is calculated by summing up traditional vehicles eet (gasolTOTt
[traditional vehicles/time period]) minus EVs (nCARSt [EVs/time
period]) for each time period t:
bifuelCARSt = gasolTOTt nCARSt


Assuming an average trip distance of 45 km per day per vehicle

(ISFORT, 2015; JRC, 2015), it is possible to evaluate the total distance
covered by bifuel vehicles (bifuelKMt [km/time period]) for each
time period t:
bifuelKMt = bifuelCARSt 45


On the other hand, the number of EVs (nCARSt ) for each time
period t is calculated as follow:
nCARSt =



where parameter  = 1.897 MWh/EV/year represents the electric energy required to fuel an EV for 1 year. Its value was derived
from Perujo and Ciuffo (2010), describing the EVs penetration in the
province of Milan (Italy). Assuming again an average trip distance

F. dAmore, F. Bezzo / Computers and Chemical Engineering 87 (2016) 6881

of 45 km per day per vehicle, it is possible to evaluate the total distance covered by EVs (powerKMt [km/time period]) for each time
period t. Accordingly:
powerKMt = nCARSt 45


3.3. Environmental impact

The denition of TIt (Eq. (6)) is as follows:
TIt =



where Impacts,t [kg of CO2 -eq/time period] is the GHG emission

rate resulting from the operation of each single stage s at time t.
The GHG emission rate is generally dened as follows:
Impacts,t = fs Fs,t


where the reference ow Fs,t [units/time period], specic for each

life cycle stage s and time t is multiplied by a global emission factor fs
[kg of CO2 -eq/unit], which represents the carbon dioxide emissions
equivalent at the stage s per unit of reference ow.
Details about emissions related to biomass growth (bg), biomass
pre-treatment (bpt) and bioethanol production (fp) can be found in
Giarola et al. (2011).
3.3.1. Transport system
The resulting GHG emission of each transport option depends
on both the distance run by the specic means and the freight load
delivered. As a consequence, the emission factor represents the
total carbon dioxide emission equivalent released by the transport
unit l per km driven and tonne carried. The global warming impact
related to both the biomass supply (bt) and the ethanol distribution to the blending terminals (fd) is mathematically dened as in
Giarola et al. (2011).
On the other hand, emission related to the nal biofuel distribution to the end users (fdist) is a new feature of this study. The liquid
fuel (i.e. ethanol plus petrol) is assumed to be delivered by truck
to petrol stations. Therefore, the total amount of ethanol Etotg,t
[tonne/time period] blended in terminal g at the time t is delivered to the nal users according to an average distribution diameter
g [km]. The resulting GHG emission is obtained by multiplying
the transportation emission factor for road transport (ffdtruck [kg of
CO2 -eq/time period]) and the ethanol distribution ow occurring
from each terminal g. Accordingly:
Impact fdist  ,t = ffdtruck

g Etotg,t


Distribution diameters g are evaluated for each blending terminal g according to the following equation:

g =


(LDg,g  Dtermg )


where LDg,g [km] represents the distance between a terminal g and

a generic region g, while Dtermg is a binary variable which identies
the presence of a terminal in the region g considered. By multiplying
up LDg,g and Dtermg , it is possible to dene the distance between an
established terminal g and a generic demand region g. In Eq. (38),
N represents the number of distribution regions g. By summing up
the distances for each distribution region g and dividing by 2N, it is
possible to calculate the average distribution diameter g for each
terminal g. By adding up the circles of diameter g , the resulting
area is equal to 1.3 times the distribution surface (which turns up
to be identical to the average value of the regional tortuosity g,l,g
used in Zamboni et al., 2009a).


3.3.2. Impact in electricity generation

The GHG emissions resulting from the bioelectricity generation
(epow) are estimated according to the methodology proposed by
IPCC (2006, 2013), whose results were compared also with those
obtained by Corti (2004), Carpentieri et al. (2005) and Mann et al.
(1996). Considering an average conversion efciency for each production technology k, the emission factors for power production
fppi,k [kg of CO2 -eq/MWh] were implemented in the model formulation (the emission factors can be found in the Supplementary
data). Those factors are multiplied by electricity outputs for the
calculation of this stage impact for each time period t:
Impact epow ,t =

fppi,k Ppi,k,g,t



where Ppi,k,g,t is the power rate from the biomass i at the facility k
in the region g at the time t.
3.3.3. Impact related to EV battery production
Each new EV purchased by the end users (newCARSt [new
EVs/time period]) was selected as the functional unit for this stage
emission evaluation. Accordingly:
Impact ebat  ,t =



The nal emission factor value

[kg of CO2 -eq/new EV] was
xed equal to 3046.9 kg of CO2 -eq/new EV, by averaging out some
studies in the literature (Zackrisson et al., 2010; Faria et al., 2013;
Li et al., 2014; Majeau-Bettez et al., 2011; Notter et al., 2010). In
this study, is the differential emission factor between traditional
petrol and EVs manufacturing, thus both the battery production and
the lack of the internal combustion engine are taken into account
through this parameter.
3.3.4. Impact on AFVs usage
With concern to EVs, it is assumed that there are no emissions
(apart from batteries production stage ebat). Therefore, EVs utilisation impact (ecars) is null for each time period t:
Impact ecars ,t = 0


On the other hand, referring to bifuel vehicles-related emissions (ebifuel), a proper study is needed. Just like power plants
emission stage formulation (epow), bifuel vehicles emission factor
has been estimated following the methodology proposed by IPCC
(2006, 2013), under the following assumptions:
vehicle running with hot engine;
exclusion of low emission vehicles (IPCC, 2006);
average vehicle in the USA car eet.
The resulting emission factor  [kg of CO2 -eq/kmbifuel car ] was
therefore set equal to 0.005515 and the functional unit for the emission stage calculation was set equal to 1 km (distance travelled by
bifuel vehicles). The GHG emission is obtained by multiplying the
bifuel vehicle emission factor  with the total distance travelled
bifuelKMt for each time period t. Accordingly:
Impact ebifuel ,t = bifuelKMt


3.3.5. iLUC impact

iLUC occurs when pressure on agriculture due to the displacement of previous activity or use of the biomass induces land-use
changes on other lands, in order to maintain the previous level
of production. Therefore, it has consequences in the GHG balance
of the proposed production systems. According to the European
Commission (2009, 2012), all the facilities (i.e. biofuels plants) that
use land will get an iLUC factor if [kg of CO2 -eq/GJethanol ]; however, feedstock that does not require any land for its production


F. dAmore, F. Bezzo / Computers and Chemical Engineering 87 (2016) 6881

(i.e. waste, residues, algae) is exempt from iLUC effects. Thus, in

this study bioelectricity production does not produce iLUC-related
emissions, because the conversion facilities input is considered a
residual feedstock (corn stover). The estimated iLUC emissions are
introduced as follows into the modelling framework:
Impact iLUC  ,t =

if Pfk,g,t

Table 1
Ethanol (TDetht ) and power (TDpowt ) demands, ethanol blending (etperct ) and EVs
market share (EVmt ) for each time period t (Instance A) and global demand TDt
(Instance B).



where the iLUC factor for the feedstock group (if), in the case of
this work the corn utilised as a biomass to produce ethanol, corresponds to a value of 12 kg of CO2 -eq/GJethanol produced (European
Commission, 2009, 2012).
3.3.6. Emission credits
Following Zamboni et al. (2009b), the substitution procedure
has been chosen in order to deal with the effect of byproduct allocation on emission discount. According to this approach, the emission
credits earned by the displacement of alternative goods along with
byproducts are subtracted from the primary product total GHG
4. Case study
Northern Italy is chosen as a demonstrative case study. The
bioenergy production system is optimised over a 15-year horizon
by setting the transport energy demand so as to nd the best mix
of power and ethanol (and accordingly of bifuel and EVs) meeting the economic and environmental objectives. Market prices for
ethanol, DDGS and power were xed equal to 710 D /tonethanol , 300
D /tonDDGS and 90 D /MWh (green credits were not considered). Further details can be found in the following subsections and in the
Supplementary data.
4.1. Spatially explicit features
Northern Italy was discretised according to the grid approach
described by Zamboni et al. (2009a), consisting of 59 homogeneous
squares of equal size (50 km of length). One additional cell (g = 60)
is used to allow for importing biomass from foreign suppliers. As in
Zamboni et al. (2009a), bioethanol is sent to the blending terminals
existing at given locations.
Two main instances were formulated: in Instance A both
bioethanol and bioelectricity demand variations are set, whereas
in Instance B only the global demand is set, allowing the solver to
reach the optimum quota agreement.
4.1.1. Instance A
In this design conguration, both bioethanol and bioelectricity
demands are assumed to be xed a priori so that their respective
productions, which are increasing along the time horizon, are preset for each time period t.
On the one hand, dealing with EVs penetration, Shepherd et al.
(2012) suggest a market share of 3% by t = 5 (2030), which is similar to that indicated in a forecast by the Boston Consulting Group
(2009) (3.015%) and in a study by the BERR (2008) (3.5%). Considering an average value of those results, it was here assumed a market
share for EVs of 3.26% for the entire car eet by 2030. Thus, a linear
growth-rate (starting from zero) was implemented in the study to
describe the bioelectricity market evolution. The actual number of
EVs was converted into electricity demand according to the parameter  [MWh/EV/year] described in the previous Section 3. The
circulating traditional car eet in the Northern Italy was assumed
to be constant along the time horizon, consistently to the statistics
of the last years (Automobile Club dItalia, 2015).


Instance A

Instance B



[%vol ]








On the other hand, dealing with the bifuel vehicles penetration

(i.e. petrol plus bioethanol), their market share decreases along the
15-years time horizon (because of the progressive substitution of
the traditional vehicles with EVs). However, the ethanol blending
(represented by the etperct parameter) grows during the 5 time
periods, assuming as mandatory the future EU targets on biofuels
already described in Giarola et al. (2011).
The consequence of this design conguration is a forced drop
of petrol utilisation, which is due to: (i) the progressive substitution of the traditional vehicles with the EVs, and (ii) the increasing
ethanol blending in the bifuel vehicles. The global ethanol demand
(TDetht [tonne/month]) and the global electricity demand (TDpowt
[tee/month]), as well as the ethanol blending (etperct [%vol ]) and the
EVs market share (EVmt [%]) evolutions, are reported in Table 1 for
each time period t.
4.1.2. Instance B
In this design conguration, the global demand (TDt
[tonne/month]) is set, allowing the solver to nd the optimal
ethanol/electricity quotas. The global demand TDt is evaluated
by summing up the ethanol demand TDetht and the electricity
demand TDpowt as they resulted in Instance A for each time period
t. The global demand TDt is reported in the last column of Table 1.
Clearly in this case the AFVs market evolution is a result of the
4.2. Biomass growth, biomass pre-treatment and transport
With concerns to corn cultivation, the spatially specic data sets
(i.e. BCDmax g , ADg , BYi,g and UPCi,g ) were taken from Zamboni et al.
(2009a), while the stover yields (BYstover ,g ) and costs (UPCstover ,g ),
as well as the data to estimate the impact on global warming (fbgi,g )
of biomass production, were derived from Giarola et al. (2011).
Biomass pre-treatment deals with the drying and storage operations after the biomass harvesting and collection. Costs are not
considered because already included in the biomass production
costs, whereas the environmental impact deriving this stage is
taken from Zamboni et al. (2009a).
The distribution infrastructure includes trucks, rail, barges and
ships as possible delivery means. Trans-shipping was included as a
viable transport option for biomass importation. All the transportrelated parameters have been based on actual geographic distances
between regions g and g according to the procedure described in
Zamboni et al. (2009a).
4.3. Bioethanol production
Following the results of Giarola et al. (2011), three main
processing technologies were identied: (i) the Dry Grind Process
(DGP), where corn is converted into ethanol through a biological process; (ii) the Ligno-Cellulosic Ethanol Process (LCEP), where
stover only is converted into ethanol; and (iii) the Integrated

F. dAmore, F. Bezzo / Computers and Chemical Engineering 87 (2016) 6881

Table 2
Technological option for ethanol production, identication and products















Grain-Stover Process (IGSP), where both corn grain and stover are
processed to obtain ethanol. Table 2 summarises the main features of the four technological options, in particular the feasible
input/output combinations are pointed out. Among IGSP possibilities, two different technologies (k = 3, 4) are implemented according
to different biomasses mixtures in terms of corn grain and stover
as described in Giarola et al. (2011).
4.4. Bioelectricity generation
In order to analyse the potential technological options for
the conversion of biomass into electricity, it was decided to
exclude those technologies that currently do no exhibit either
a proven maturity or a sound economic viability (e.g. Stirling
engines, Organic Rankine Cycles, Fuel cells) (Lora and Andrade,
2009). Accordingly, three technological options were considered
in this study: (i) biomass direct combustion for Rankine steam
cycle (C + R, k = 11); (ii) biomass gasication for Turbo Gas cycle
(G + TG, k = 22); and (iii) biomass gasication for Internal Combustion Engine (G + MCI, k = 33). It was assumed to consider only pure
power generation, excluding from the calculations the combined
heat and power potential production. Thus, the electricity generation (PR) was assumed to be proportional to the biomass (i.e. corn
stover only) input (Capelec ), according to the following equation:
Capelec =

PR fc
k LHVfuel


where fc represents the load factor (assumed to be of 8000 h/year

independently from the technology k), while k is the conversion
efciency for each technology k and LHVfuel is a constant representing the lower heating value of the feedstock introduced (which for
corn stover is 15.9 MJ/kg, according to the Jenkins catalogue, 1998).
Electricity generation rates PRp are discretised according to the set
p (Table 3). The capital investment CI and the production costs
PC of the technologies eleck are evaluated through the following
CI = a PRb
PC = c PR

Table 3
Production capacity, nominal values for each plant size p, ERp and PRp .






Table 4
Facilities coefcients a, b, c and d for the calculation of costs, CI and PC.






(Caputo et al., 2005; Patel et al., 2011; Weiss et al., 2012; Fulmer,
1991). According to the literature, the plant scale for the conversion
technology was limited between 3 MW and 60 MW.
For the gasication plants, both the technical and the economic
parameters were also derived from the literature (Arena et al.,
2010; Kinoshita et al., 1997; Craig and Mann, 1996; Wu et al.,
2002, 2008). The results were also compared with the Biomass
CHP catalogue (2007). According to the literature, the plant scale
for the Turbo Gas cycles was limited between 100 kW and 60 MW,
while for the Internal Combustion Engines the possible range was
set between 100 kW and 10 MW (the latter is the largest existing
size for stationary generation according to General Electric, 2015).
Similarly to the mathematical formulation adopted for bioreneries, linear equations were obtained by the regression of the
capital investment CIp,k (Table 5) and the production costs PRp,k
(Table 6) values, related to several capacity intervals p per each
technology k.
The biomass conversion factors (i.e. corn stover converted
into electricity which is then distributed to end user), zi,k
[MWhdist /tonstover ], are set equal to 1.0890 for k = 11, 1.6326 for
k = 22 and 1.5306 for k = 33. According to statistics made by Terna
(2014), the average efciency of the Italian National grid is equal
to 0.935 (dened as the electricity distributed to end users with
respect to the electricity produced at the facility). The parameter
zi,k was evaluated by multiplying that value (0.935) and the average
conversion efciency k for each technology k.
With regard to the environmental aspects, the GHG emission
from the power production stage was assumed to be proportional
to the total annual amount of biomass i processed by the facility k,
according to the methodology proposed by IPCC (2006). The global
emission factors assigned to eleck stover-based processes (i.e. fppi,k
[kg of CO2 -eq/MWh]), set equal to 1.97 for k = 11, 1.47 for k = 22 and
1.53 for k = 33, were calculated through a spreadsheet tool (IPCC,
2013) accounting only for CH4 and N2 O contributions.

Table 5
Capital Investment, values of the linearisation parameters CIp,k [MD ].




where the coefcients a, b, c and d (Table 4) depend on the conversion technology k.

With concern to the biomass direct combustion within a Rankine cycle, their capital investment and the production costs, as well
as the conversion efciency, were evaluated from the literature












Table 6
Production Costs, values of the linearisation parameters ck,c .

[D /tonne or D /MWh]

[D /month]





F. dAmore, F. Bezzo / Computers and Chemical Engineering 87 (2016) 6881

Instance B

Instance A


NPV - Net Present Value [/GJoutput]





















TGHG - Total GHG Emission [kg of CO2-eq/GJoutput]

Fig. 2. Pareto curves under bi-objective optimisation for Instance A and Instance B.

5. Results and discussion

The design variables (about 300k continuous variables and 15k
discrete ones per iteration) were optimised in about 60 hours by
using the CPLEX solver in the GAMS modelling tool on a 3.40 GHz
As expected, the Pareto set of sub-optimal solutions (see Fig. 2)
resulting from the bi-objective problem solution reveals the conict between environmental and economic performance. First of
all, the results will be discussed without considering the iLUC effect
on environmental performance. In Instance A, the optimal conguration in terms of economic performance (case A1 as reported in
Fig. 2) entails a marginal NPV of 2.08 D /GJoutput against a global
environmental impact of 94.8 kg of CO2 -eq/GJoutput , which in fact is
equivalent to a GHG increase of about 10% compared to petrol (the
GHG emission factor for petrol was assumed equal to 85.8 kg of CO2 eq/GJ, according to HGCA, 2005). In such a conguration the usage
of biomass (at least, the biomass considered in this study) does not
lead to any environmental advantage. The environmental impact
is almost identical in Instance B, where the optimal conguration
in terms of economic performance (case B1 as reported in Fig. 2)
entails a marginal NPV of 5.55 D /GJoutput (signicantly higher than
in Instance A) and a global environmental impact of 95.2 kg of CO2 eq/GJoutput , equivalent to a GHG increase of about 11% compared to
petrol. In both Instance A and Instance B, the system design would
involve the establishment of standard DGP bioreneries (k = 1) and
a signicant corn importation from abroad. With regard to the electricity production, G + TG (k = 22) and G + MCI (k = 33) facilities are
established and the feedstock for the electricity conversion (stover)
is completely produced in Northern Italy.
Fig. 3a illustrates the optimal economic conguration in the
case of Instance B. Fig. 4a shows the contributions of NPVchain and
NPVcar to the global NPV under the economic optimisation. With
regards to NPVchain , both instances perform similarly (440 MD vs.
407). The good SC economic performance is mainly related to technology choices and biomass supply costs. On the other hand, NPVcar
is quite different in the two cases. In Instance A it is worth 198 MD ,
while it reaches 1294 MD in Instance B. This is due to the larger EV
penetration in Instance B (about 12% by t = 5). In fact, that design
conguration can produce a NPVcar of about 1.3 GD in 15 years,
against of about 200 MD in Instance A. Thus, it would seem that
EVs would acquire a higher than expected market share in an
unconstrained condition. However, Fig. 5 suggests a more complex situation. Although the nal NPV is largely positive, Instance B
requires that the nal users accept a period of negative economic

performance, which is needed to pay back the investment for establishing the production facilities. In other words, due to the initial
high EV cost, initially EV buyers would not get any return from
their investment (note from Fig. 5 that the initial payback time is
about 10 years, which is also the average battery lifetime) and simply would be instrumental to set in motion the production SC. This
is unlikely to occur unless some incentives are promoted through
dedicated policies. In view of the above, Instance A, despite a lower
value of NPVcar , exhibits a payback time of 7 years and probably
represents a more sensible design option.
The best congurations in terms of global warming mitigation
potential are achieved through the establishment of different conversion technologies for ethanol production. In Instance A, the
optimal conguration in terms of environmental performance (case
A2 as reported in Fig. 2) entails a global environmental impact
of 34.6 kg of CO2 -eq/GJoutput corresponding to a GHG decrease
of about 60% compared to petrol (compliant with long terms EU
environmental targets). The environmental optimum (case B2 as
reported in Fig. 2) is even better in Instance B, in which the global
environmental impact is of 16.0 kg of CO2 -eq/GJoutput , corresponding to a GHG decrease of about 81% compared to petrol. However,
the operation of such a system would be feasible only under a strong
support policy (governmental subsidy should account for about
3.85 D /GJoutput in Instance A, corresponding to about 1.2 GD parcelled out over the 15 years horizon, and for about 5.92 D /GJoutput
in Instance B, corresponding to about 1.8 GD over 15 years).
In Instance A, the strategic design involves the establishment
of the expensive LCEP technology for the ethanol production
(k = 2) and, similarly to the economic optimum, of gasication
technologies (k = 22, 33) for electricity generation. On the other
hand, in Instance B the SC conguration results do not suggest
the establishment of pure power generation facilities to reach
the environmental goals (see Fig. 3b). It appears that adopting
LCEP technology to produce both ethanol and electricity represents
the best environmental option. Fig. 4b shows the contributions
of NPVchain and NPVcar to the global NPV under the environmental optimisation. In Instance A NPVchain is worth 1377 MD
against 1799 MD in Instance B, whereas in Instance A the NPVcar
is worth 198 MD against 15 MD in Instance B. The Instance
B negative value of NPVcar is related to the fact that second
generation ethanol technologies are preferred and the payback
time is not reached within the time horizon considered in this
An intermediate situation is represented by the cases A3 and B3
reported in Fig. 2, which represent the threshold between protable
and unprotable production SC (NPVchain 0). Regarding Instance A,
the optimisation entails a marginal NPV of 0.50 D /GJoutput (thanks to
the contribution of the AFVs penetration in the market) against a
global environmental impact of 40.6 kg of CO2 -eq/GJoutput equivalent to a GHG decrease of about 53% compared to petrol. The
economic result is better in Instance B, with a marginal NPV of 2.93
D /GJoutput (again given only by NPVcar ) against an environmental
performance of 41.9 kg of CO2 -eq/GJoutput corresponding to a GHG
decrease of about 51% compared to petrol. In both Instance A and
Instance B, those results are achieved through the installation of
IGSP bioreneries (k = 3, 4), which could represent an interesting
halfway technology between the high economic performance of
DGP process and the low environmental impact of LCEP process.
Again, the power generation depends on gasication technologies
(k = 22, 33) in both Instance A and Instance B.
The effects of iLUC are merely environmental, as shown in Fig. 2.
As a consequence, in cases A1 and B1 the environmental results
are worsened signicantly after the incorporation of iLUC effects:
the overall GHG emissions increase in Instance A to about 106.8 kg
of CO2 -eq/GJoutput (+25% with respect to petrol) and in Instance B
to about 103.5 kg of CO2 -eq/GJoutput (+21% with respect to petrol).

F. dAmore, F. Bezzo / Computers and Chemical Engineering 87 (2016) 6881


Fig. 3. SC conguration at the end of time horizon (t = 5) in Instance B under (a) economic and (b) environmental optimisation.

There is no iLUC effect in cases A2 and B2 since in both cases stover

is the only feedstock.
5.1. Taxation effects
In our analysis, NPVcar was calculated considering the actual
price a consumer would pay for fuel and electricity in Italy. To assess
the effect of taxation on fuel and electricity, duties were excluded

in the calculation of the parameter KMcost. In other words, the

market prices are now assumed to be equal to the selling prices
at the facility plus the distribution costs. The price for electricity is
set equal to 110 D /MWh and the price for the bioethanol is 0.709
D /l. The latter was calculated by summing up an average market
price for the ethanol (0.56 D /l according to Giarola et al., 2011)
and by assuming an average distribution cost, evaluated as for the
petrol in 0.15 D /l (Unione Petrolifera, 2015). As a consequence,


F. dAmore, F. Bezzo / Computers and Chemical Engineering 87 (2016) 6881


Instance A

Instance B



Instance A_NPVcar

Instance B_NPVchain

Instance B_NPVcar


Net Present Value - NPV [M]

Net Present Value [M]


Instance A_NPVchain

Instance A






Instance B






EVs differential cost by 2030

Net Present Value [M]

Fig. 6. EVs differential purchasing cost by 2030: economic consequences.


In Instance A, there is no convenience for the end users in purchasing an EV if the differential purchasing cost is still of 1200
D /new EV by t = 5 (2030). Nevertheless, this value seems quite
pessimistic with respect to the one that was implemented in the
formulation according to the literature (625 D /EV by t = 5). In
Instance B, the initially not affordable economic situation for end
users, due to a high differential purchasing cost, generates a drop
in the EVs penetration during the rst years.




Fig. 4. NPVchain , NPVcar and NPV [MD ] under: (a) economic or (b) environmental

parameter KMcost is now worth 0.05 D /km and the effect is

to make EVs more advantageous with respect to bifuel ones. In
Instance A the NPV increases up to 6.00 D /GJoutput (+191%) while
in Instance B it becomes 35.35 D /GJoutput (+543%). Clearly the
elimination of taxation would have positive consequences on the
economics of EVs and it shows how current Italian taxation do not
favour EVs penetration in the market.
5.2. A sensitivity analysis on price decrease in EVs
The potential savings for a nal customer mainly depend on the
dynamics concerning the differential purchasing cost between EVs
and bifuel cars over the time horizon. Thus, for Instance B we veried the effect on the economic optimum by considering differential
price variation dynamics, assuming the nal differential purchasing
cost by 2030 from a null to a maximum value of 2500 D /new EV. On
the one hand, the results show that the differential cost of EVs has
hardly any consequence in the NPVchain (i.e. the SC conguration is
not affected by this parameter). On the other hand, not surprisingly,
the consequences on NPVcar are remarkable (see Fig. 6).

6. Final remarks
A multi-objective MILP modelling framework for the strategic optimisation of multi-echelon bioethanol and biopower supply
chains, intended to support the alternative fuel vehicles penetration in the Northern Italy market, has been presented and discussed.
All simulation studies show that both bifuel and electric vehicles
are needed for complying with the market demand.
From an economic standpoint of the supply chain infrastructure,
the results show that a correct mix of rst generation bioreneries
for ethanol production and of gasication facilities for electricity
generation represents a viable industrial option and permits a feasible penetration of the alternative fuel vehicles in the traditional
market. Nevertheless, this network conguration does not represent a suitable answer to match the EU targets on global warming
mitigation, due to the high environmental impact resulting from
the handling of the rst generation technologies, especially after
incorporating iLUC effects. On the other hand, second generation
bioreneries are still rather expensive and requiring some sort of
incentives. However, coupled with same gasication technologies
for power generation, they represent the best option for a signicant reduction of global GHG emissions.
Appendix A. Supplementary data

Net Present Value for EVs - NPVcar


Instance A_NPVcar

Instance B_NPVcar

Supplementary data associated with this article can be found,

in the online version, at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compchemeng.










Fig. 5. Actualisation of NPVcar through the years [MD ] for Instance A and Instance

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