In-Field Operations to Deliver Biomass to a Biorefinery


  • John S Cundiff Virginia Tech
  • Robert D Grisso Virginia Tech


Biomass, switchgrass, biomass logistics, in-field hauling, hauling costs, satellite storage locations


This study shows how “Satellite Storage Locations” (SSLs) can be sized and located to balance in-field hauling cost to the SSL and load-haul cost from the SSL to a biorefinery.  The system uses in-field bale wagon to deliver bales of switchgrass to the SSL and year-round hauling from SSLs to a biorefinery with commercial equipment.  An average labor productivity of 12 Mg/h was assumed for the in-field bale wagon.  Based on average operating time to haul bales from a 16 ha field, the allowable in-field to SSL haul distance was 3.2 km.  The mobilization cost to move equipment to the SSL for commercial load/haul operations is a factor in minimizing total cost, in-field hauling plus highway hauling. Analysis showed that mobilization cost is not as important as limiting in-field hauling cost. This result suggests that a large number of smaller SSLs may be the desired organization as compared to a fewer number of larger SSLs.

Author Biography

Robert D Grisso, Virginia Tech

Professor Biological Systems Engng






V-Management, Ergonomics and Systems Engineering