Synthesis of regional networks for biomass and biofuel production Hon Loong Lam
, 2010, dissertation
Abstract: This thesis presents two different approaches to the synthesis of regional networks for biomass and biofuel production and supply: Mathematical Programming and Graph Theoretic approach. The optimisation criterion for both approaches is the maximisation of profit.
The first approach is based on a generic optimisation model of biomass production and supply networks. This superstructure approach is based on a flexible number of network layers: plantation, collection using a pre-treatment, process, and consumption. A Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) model has been successfully developed during this work.
However, the solution of this biomass production network model is very challenging due to the large sizes of the networks and the number of interconnections. The huge number of redundant variables reduces model efficiency (time taken to solve the model and the interpretation of the results). This model when representing very large size networks cannot be solved over a reasonable time even by professional mathematical programming software tools. Several model-size reduction techniques are therefore proposed for the solution of large-scale networks. In particular, methods are proposed for (i) reducing the connectivity within a biomass supply chain network by setting the maximum allowable distance between the supply zones to the collection centres, (ii) eliminating unnecessary variables and constrains to reduce the zero-flows in the full model, and (iii) aggregating the network and hence the synthesis process by merging the collection centres.
The network synthesis is also carried out by P-graph (Process Graph) tools. P-graph is a directed bipartite graph, having two types of vertices — one for operating units and another for those objects representing material or energy flows/quantities. In this procedure, firstly a maximum feasible superstructure for biomass production network is generated from which the optimal structure is then selected by the Branch and Bound method. This graph-based method clearly shows where, how, and what kind of material and energy carriers will be transferred from one supply chain layer to another.
In order to test the efficiency of the model, a small regional renewable network problem was solved using both methods. Their performances were tested and the results confirmed the applicability on a regional scale. The proposed model-size reduction techniques were also tested. A large-scale regional case study was created to demonstrate these techniques. The results are very positive and some suggestions for future work are given in the conclusion.
Keywords: Biomass and bioenergy network synthesis, Model-size reduction
techniques, Mathematical Programming, MILP, P-Graph
Published: 06.01.2011; Views: 2534; Downloads: 85
Full text (4,25 MB)