Waste and Biomass Valorization

, Volume 8, Issue 7, pp 2313–2327 | Cite as

Biomass Value Chain Design: A Case Study of the Upper Rhine Region

  • A. Rudi
  • A.-K. Müller
  • M. Fröhling
  • F. Schultmann
Original Paper


Bioenergy is expected to play an important role in the future mix of energy supply in bridging the gap between diminishing fossil fuels and increasing global energy needs, as it is in contrast to other renewable energies, capable of providing base-load capacities. Valorization of biomass as a source of energy is challenging due to the large variety of biomass feedstocks and conversion technologies. To master these challenges and to establish a successful bioenergy market, the development of optimized biomass value chains is essential. We present a case study application of a biomass value chain design for the tri-national Upper Rhine Region. A mathematical model is formulated, which uses existing potentials in order to optimize the biomass value chain in terms of multiple feedstocks, technologies, and outputs. Potential biomass conversion plants are identified or existing ones are upgraded while integrating transportation, location, technology, and capacity planning. The model is implemented and applied in a case study for the Upper Rhine Region. The resulting insights provide for a techno-economic assessment of biomass value chains and the identification of potential biomass pathways. In this way, support is provided in strategic decision making, while taking into account the type of biomass feedstock as well as the conversion technology, and in tactical planning by allocating feedstock to conversion facility locations.

Graphical abstract


Biomass value chain Techno-economic assessment Location planning Mathematical modeling Multiple biomass feedstocks 



The present work was carried out in the context of the research project “OUI Biomasse—Innovations for a Sustainable Biomass Utilization in the Upper Rhine Region” financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in collaboration with the cooperation program INTERREG “Oberrhein—Rhin Supérieur” and other national co-funding institutions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.French-German Institute for Environmental Research (DFIU)Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)KarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Chair of Business Administration, esp. Resource ManagementTU Bergakademie FreibergFreibergGermany

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