Logistics issues of biomass: the storage problem and the multi-biomass supply chain

Athanasios A. Rentizelas, Athanasios J. Tolis, Ilias P. Tatsiopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

359 Citations (Scopus)
1333 Downloads (Pure)


Biomass is a renewable energy source with increasing importance. The larger fraction of cost in biomass energy generation originates from the logistics operations. A major issue concerning biomass logistics is its storage, especially when it is characterized by seasonal availability. The biomass energy exploitation literature has rarely investigated the issue of biomass storage. Rather, researchers usually choose arbitrarily the lowest cost storage method available, ignoring the effects this choice may have on the total system efficiency. In this work, the three most frequently used biomass storage methods are analyzed and are applied to a case study to come up with tangible comparative results. Furthermore, the issue of combining multiple biomass supply chains, aiming at reducing the storage space requirements, is introduced. An application of this innovative concept is also performed for the case study examined. The most important results of the case study are that the lowest cost storage method indeed constitutes the system-wide most efficient solution, and that the multi-biomass approach is more advantageous when combined with relatively expensive storage methods. However, low cost biomass storage methods bear increased health, safety and technological risks that should always be taken into account. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-894
Number of pages8
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


  • biomass supply chain
  • energy exploitation
  • multi-biomass
  • logistics
  • agricultural biomass
  • biomass storage

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