Single and multiple objective biomass-to-biofuel supply chain optimization considering environmental impacts

Claudia Evangelina Valles Sosa, University of Texas at El Paso


Bioenergy has become an important alternative source of energy to alleviate the reliance on petroleum energy. Bioenergy offers diminishing climate change by reducing Green House Gas Emissions, as well as providing energy security and enhancing rural development. The Energy Independence and Security Act mandate the use of 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels including 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels by the year 2022. It is clear that Biomass can make a substantial contribution to supply future energy demand in a sustainable way. However, the supply of sustainable energy is one of the main challenges that mankind will face over the coming decades. For instance, many logistical challenges will be faced in order to provide an efficient and reliable supply of quality feedstock to biorefineries. 700 million tons of biomass will be required to be sustainably delivered to biorefineries annually to meet the projected use of biofuels by the year of 2022. Approaching this complex logistic problem as a multi-commodity network flow structure, the present work proposes the use of a genetic algorithm as a single objective optimization problem that considers the maximization of profit and the present work also proposes the use of a Multiple Objective Evolutionary Algorithm to simultaneously maximize profit while minimizing global warming potential. Most transportation optimization problems available in the literature have mostly considered the maximization of profit or the minimization of total travel time as potential objectives to be optimized. However, on this research work, we take a more conscious and sustainable approach for this logistic problem. Planners are increasingly expected to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach, especially due to the rising importance of environmental stewardship. The role of a transportation planner and designer is shifting from simple economic analysis to promoting sustainability through the integration of environmental objectives. To respond to these new challenges, the Modified Multiple Objective Evolutionary Algorithm for the design optimization of a biomass to bio-refinery logistic system that considers the simultaneous maximization of the total profit and the minimization of three environmental impacts is presented. Sustainability balances economic, social and environmental goals and objectives. There exist several works in the literature that have considered economic and environmental objectives for the presented supply chain problem. However, there is a lack of research performed in the social aspect of a sustainable logistics system. This work proposes a methodology to integrate social aspect assessment, based on employment creation. Finally, most of the assessment methodologies considered in the literature only contemplate deterministic values, when in realistic situations uncertainties in the supply chain are present. In this work, Value-at-Risk, an advanced risk measure commonly used in portfolio optimization is included to consider the uncertainties in biofuel prices, among the others

Subject Area

Environmental science|Energy|Operations research

Recommended Citation

Valles Sosa, Claudia Evangelina, "Single and multiple objective biomass-to-biofuel supply chain optimization considering environmental impacts" (2015). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10000760.