Given the location of a bio-energy plant for the conversion of biomass to bio-energy, a feedstock logistics system that relies on the use of satellite storage locations (SSLs) for temporary storage and loading of round bales is proposed. Three equipment systems are considered for handling biomass at the SSLs, and they are either placed permanently or are mobile and thereby travel from one SSL to another. A mathematical programming-based approach is utilized to determine SSLs and equipment routes in order to minimize the total cost. The use of a Side-loading Rack System results in average savings of 21.3% over a Densification System while a Rear-loading Rack System is more expensive to operate than either of the other equipment systems. The utilization of mobile equipment results in average savings of 14.8% over the equipment placed permanently. Furthermore, the Densification System is not justifiable for transportation distances less than 81 km.
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