Economic Evaluation of Large-Scale Biorefinery Deployment: A Framework Integrating Dynamic Biomass Market and Techno-Economic Models
Journal article, 2020

Biofuels and biochemicals play significant roles in the transition towards a fossil-free society. However, large-scale biorefineries are not yet cost-competitive with their fossil-fuel counterparts, and it is important to identify biorefinery concepts with high economic performance. For evaluating early-stage biorefinery concepts, one needs to consider not only the technical performance and process costs but also the economic performance of the full supply chain and the impacts on feedstock and product markets. This article presents and demonstrates a conceptual interdisciplinary framework that can constitute the basis for evaluations of the full supply-chain performance of biorefinery concepts. This framework considers the competition for biomass across sectors, assumes exogenous end-use product demand, and incorporates various geographical and technical constraints. The framework is demonstrated empirically through a case study of a sawmill-integrated biorefinery producing liquefied biomethane from forestry and forest industry residues. The case study results illustrate that acknowledging biomass market effects in the supply chain evaluation implies changes in both biomass prices and the allocation of biomass across sectors. The proposed framework should facilitate the identification of biorefinery concepts with a high economic performance which are robust to feedstock price changes caused by the increase in biomass demand.

partial equilibrium

supply chain

price formation




Jonas Zetterholm

Luleå University of Technology

Elina Bryngemark

Luleå University of Technology

Johan Ahlström

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Patrik Soderholm

Luleå University of Technology

Simon Harvey

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Elisabeth Wetterlund

Luleå University of Technology

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis


2071-1050 (ISSN)

Vol. 12 17 7126

Subject Categories

Other Mechanical Engineering


Energy Systems



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3/8/2021 7