The delivery of biomass products from the production place to the point of final use is of fundamental importance within the constitution of energy chains based on the biomass use as renewable energy source. Transport can be one of the most economically expensive operations of the entire biomass energy production process, which limits choices in this sector, often inhibiting any expansive trends. An accurate geographic identification of the locations of the different biomass sources, can be used to estimate the potential available biomass for energy transformation in a small-scale supply chain. This tool can be useful also to develop a map of the economic sustainability of biomass sources in a specific territorial area. This work reports the results of a study focused on assessing the sustainability of transport costs calculated in relation to different types of biomass sources present in proximity of a biomass power plant of a small-scale energy supply chain, located in central Italy. The study geographically located and assessed residual biomass through remote sensing and photo-interpretation. The estimation of the residual biomass present on the territory was carried out on each land use separately. The elements involved in the calculation of the transport cost concerned the identification of the area under study on the basis on a maximum travel time of 60 minutes. The transport costs model considered the available options of the road network practicability, in relation to the characteristics and morphology of the territory. The proposed analysis allows to highlight and visualize on the map the areas of the territory characterized by greater economic sustainability in terms of lower transport costs (including load a unload) of residual agroforestry biomass from the collection point to the final point identified with the biomass power plant of the small-scale energy supply chain considered.
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Transport cost estimation model of the agroforestry biomass in a small-scale energy chain
Published: 11 November 2020 by MDPI in The 1st International Electronic Conference on Forests — Forests for a Better Future: Sustainability, Innovation, Interdisciplinarity session Forest and Urban Forest Sustainability
Keywords: energy chain; transport cost; residual biomass; travel time