Cost-Effectiveness of Lignocellulose Biorefineries and their Impact on the Deciduous Wood Markets in Germany
FCN Working Paper No. 8/2012
42 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2012
Date Written: September 2012
Biorefineries, especially if based on woody biomass, may cause significant changes to the forest and wood-based industry. The resulting changes may, in turn, affect the economic feasibility of lignocellulosic biofuels production. In this article, we introduce a spatial partial equilibrium model of the forest and wood processing industries in Germany. The wood market model is linked to the Reaction Network Flux Analysis (RNFA), a model for the systematic selection of reaction pathways in the preliminary evaluation of the mass balance of innovative biofuel components. In doing so, we can simulate the impact of wood-based biorefineries on their feedstock markets and also assess the economic feasibility of the proposed production process. In a case study based on the transformation of beech wood to methyltetrahydrofuran (MTHF), a potential biofuel component currently under development, we show how the net present value of lignocellulosic biorefineries of various sizes is completely reversed once the wood market’s response to the entry of a new high-volume consumer is taken into account.
Keywords: biorefinery, process design, spatial partial equilibrium model, German wood market
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