Synthesise a sustainable bioenergy supply chain

The objective of this research work is to develop a novel mathematical approach to synthesize an optimum and sustainable bioelectricity supply chain for palm oil plant. This novel approach helps in decision making in selecting the processes, technologies and its equipment for an optimum palm oil- based bioelectricity supply chain.

Palm Oil biomass is an underutilized lignocellulosic biomass that is highly potential in generating bioenergy (heat and power) due to the high content of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin composition. Malaysia is one of the largest palm oil producers in the world. Ordinarily, 94% of biomass feedstock have been accounts by palm oil waste while the agricultural and forestry by-products are remaining contributors, such as 4% of wood residues, 1% of rice, and 1% waste from sugarcane industry. Besides, palm oil mill requires high consumption of electricity (100 kW/tons palm oil) and energy in production of palm oil. Due to the high consumption of electricity and energy in a palm oil mill, by recovering palm oil biomass into electricity will increase the sustainability of palm oil industry. However, limited research has been done on palm oil- based bioelectricity supply chain. Hence, the concept of integrating an optimum palm oil- based bioelectricity supply chain with consideration of technical, economic, and environmental aspect was proposed. The objective of this research work is to develop a novel mathematical approach to synthesize an optimum and sustainable bioelectricity supply chain for palm oil plant. This novel approach helps in decision making in selecting the pre-treatment process, technology of palm oil bioelectricity conversion and its equipment for an optimum palm oil- based bioelectricity supply chain. In order to achieve the objective, a generic superstructure is first developed. Based on the generic superstructure, the approach can be developed by formulating a series of generic equations which covers mass balance, cost and profit computation, and carbon emission calculation. The optimization objectives of this work will be maximizing profit and minimize carbon footprint. To demonstrate the approach, a palm oil mill case study will be developed and solved using a commercial optimization tool, LINGO.

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