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  • Journal article
    Dal-Mas M, Giarola S, Zamboni A, Bezzo Fet al., 2011,

    Strategic design and investment capacity planning of the ethanol supply chain under price uncertainty

    , Biomass and Bioenergy, Vol: 35, Pages: 2059-2071, ISSN: 0961-9534

    Fossil fuel depletion and the increase of greenhouse gases emissions has been pushing the search for alternative fuels for automotive transport. The European Union has identified biofuel technology as one option for reducing its dependence on imported energy. Ethanol is a promising biofuel, but great uncertainty on the business profitability has recently determined a slowdown in the industry expansion. In particular, geographical plant location, biomass price fluctuation and fuel demand variability severely constrain the economic viability of new ethanol facilities. In this work a dynamic, spatially explicit and multi-echelon Mixed Integer Linear Program (MILP) modeling framework is presented to help decision-makers and potential investors assessing economic performances and risk on investment of the entire biomass-based ethanol supply chain. A case study concerning the corn-to-ethanol production supply chain in Northern Italy is used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed modeling approach. The mathematical pattern addresses the issue of optimizing the ethanol supply network over a ten years' time period under uncertainty on biomass production cost and product selling price. The model allows optimizing economic performances and minimize financial risk on investment by identifying the best network topology in terms of biomass cultivation site locations, ethanol production plant capacities, location and transport logistics. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

  • Conference paper
    Khor CS, Giarola S, Chachuat B, Shah Net al., 2011,

    An optimization-based framework for process planning under uncertainty with risk management

    , Pages: 449-450
  • Conference paper
    Giarola S, Zamboni A, Bezzo F, 2011,

    Supply chain design and capacity planning: From first to second generation biofuel systems

    , Pages: 253-258, ISSN: 2283-9216

    Supply Chain optimisation tools may help managing the oncoming transition from first to second generation bioethanol productions. A multi-objective Mixed Integer Linear Programming is developed to design bioethanol supply chains where both corn grain and stover are considered as suitable biomass. Environmental and financial performance are simultaneously taken as design drivers and alternative process design options are considered, too. Northern Italy is taken as geographical benchmark to assess a real-world case study. Results show how the design transition from first to second generation bioethanol systems substantially depends on the specific trade-off between environmental and financial objectives. © 2011, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.

  • Journal article
    Dal Mas M, Giarola S, Zamboni A, Bezzo Fet al., 2010,

    Capacity planning and financial optimization of the bioethanol supply chain under price uncertainty

    , Computer Aided Chemical Engineering, Vol: 28, Pages: 97-102, ISSN: 1570-7946

    This work addresses the development of a dynamic spatially explicit MILP (Mixed Integer Linear Programming) modeling framework devised to optimize the design and planning of biomass-based fuel supply networks according to financial criteria and accounting for uncertainty on market conditions. The model capabilities in steering strategic decisions are assessed through a real-world case study related to the emerging corn-based bioethanol production system in Northern Italy. Two optimization criteria are considered, based on a risk-seeking or, alternatively, on a risk-adverse-approach. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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