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Title: An approach to optimise biofuel supply chain with focus on the United Kingdom
Author: Yu, Mingyen
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 0941
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2015
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With the world’s population increasing, fossil fuel resources are being consumed at an ever-increasing rate. At the same time, the globalization wave of recent years has also brought forward significant humanitarian and environmental concerns such as the depletion of other natural resources and climate change. With these problems in mind, the production of biofuels is seen as an alternative solution of strategic importance in many countries. The objective of this research is to propose a biofuel supply chain framework that aims to maximize profit and minimize environmental impact. This will be done by considering the various sub-components of the biofuel supply chain. Using the superstructure approach and supply chain block representation, a mathematical formulation is setup to analyse a biomass cultivation site, biomass storage and distribution facility, biofuel production plant, biofuel storage and distribution facility, by-product storage and distribution facility, and finally the customer. A case study on a wheat-to-bioethanol supply chain in the UK is proposed along with another case study on product distribution in the UK to test the validity and robustness of the proposed work. The result of the case studies shows that compared to traditional fossil fuels, biofuel is less competitive in terms of pricing due to the poor conversion ratio and high animal feed wheat price in the UK. However, the WTI Crude Oil price will increase in the long run and therefore, there will be good fighting chance for the biofuel supply chain to compete with the traditional fossil fuel supply chain in future. As for the biofuel distribution, a centralized distribution method is more cost effective when using diesel trucks for delivery. However, the use of electric trucks will give decentralized distribution an advantage in terms of costs. Overall, this research gives an overview of setting up a biofuel supply chain framework, where each of the sub-components is considered, together with other factors such as government policy and environmental impacts. Although biofuel may not be the most desirable energy source now, it still has great room for improvement in the future, with the advancement in technologies.
Supervisor: Cecelja, F.; Hosseini, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available