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Models and Algorithms to Solve a Reliable and Congested Biomass Supply Chain Network Designing Problem under Uncertainty

<p> This dissertation studies two important problems in the field of biomass supply chain network. In the first part of the dissertation, we study the pre-disaster planning problem that seeks to strengthen the links between the multi-modal facilities of a biomass supply chain network. A mixed-integer nonlinear programming model is developed to determine the optimal locations for multi-modal facilities and bio-refineries, offer suggestions on reliability improvement at vulnerable links, production at bio-refineries, and make transportation decision under both normal and disrupted scenarios. The aim is to assist investors in determining which links&rsquo; reliability can be improved under specific budget limitations so that the bio-fuel supply chain network can prevent possible losses when transportation links are disrupted because of natural disasters. We used states Mississippi and Alabama as a testing ground for our model. As part of numerical experimentation, some realistic hurricane scenarios are presented to determine the potential impact that pre-investing may have on improving the bio-mass supply chain network&rsquo;s reliability on vulnerable transportation links considering limited budget availability. </p><p> In the second part of the dissertation, we study the impact of feedstock supply uncertainty on the design and management of an inbound biomass co-firing supply chain network. A two-stage stochastic mixed integer linear programming model is developed to determine the optimal use of multi-modal facilities, biomass storage and processing plants, and shipment routes for delivering biomass to coal plants under feedstock supply uncertainty while considering congestion into account. To represent a more realistic case, we generated a scenario tree based on the prediction errors obtained from historical and forecasted feedstock supply availability. We linearized the nonlinear problem and solved with high quality and in a time efficient manner by using a hybrid decomposition algorithm that connects a Constraint generation algorithm with Sample average approximation algorithm and enhanced Progressive hedging algorithm. We used states Mississippi and Alabama as a testing ground for our study and conducted thorough computational experiments to test our model and to draw managerial insights.</p>
Date21 April 2017
CreatorsPoudel, Sushil Raj
PublisherMississippi State University
Detected LanguageEnglish

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