Operational and economic trade-offs in the design of second-generation biomass (SGB) supply chains guide the decisions about plant scale and location as well as biomass collection routes. This paper compares different SGB supply chain designs with a focus on mobile pyrolysis plants and centralized versus decentralized collection of biomass in terms of economic and environmental sustainability. Pyrolysis scenarios are also compared to fuel-upgrading and electricity production scenarios. The empirical context of this paper is based on a scenario analysis for processing lignocellulosic biomass, particularly landscape wood, reed and roadside grass available in the Overijssel region (Eastern Netherlands). Four scenarios are compared: (1) mobile pyrolysis plant processes the locally available biomass on-site into pyrolysis oil which is sent to a regional biofuel production unit for upgrading to marketable biofuel; (2) local biomass is collected and transported to a regional pyrolysis-based biofuel production unit for upgrading to a marketable biofuel; (3) mobile pyrolysis plant performs the on-site conversion to pyrolysis oil which is transported to an oil refinery outside the region (Rotterdam); and (4) collected biomass is sent to the nearest electricity production unit to generate electricity. The results show that processing SGB is costly and upgraded oil and refined oil are at least 65% more expensive compared to their fossil counterparts. In terms of economic and environmental performance, the mobile plant performs slightly better than a fixed plant. The energy output/input ratio range is between 6.99 and 7.54 and CO2 emissions range is between 96 and 138 kg CO2/t upgraded oil.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-186
JournalBiomass & bioenergy
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Bioenergy
  • Mobile pyrolysis plant
  • Second generation biomass
  • Supply chain analysis
  • Sustainability


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