Identifier

etd-08132014-112428

Degree

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (MSIE)

Department

Engineering Science (Interdepartmental Program)

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Two attractive potential feed stocks for biofuel production are energycane and sweet sorghum due to the environmental adaptability, sugars concentration and yield. Evaluation and development of harvesting, transportation and storage practices is critical for bringing the production of these crops to industrial levels. This research aims to analyze the supply system of energy crops and evaluate the effect of different harvesting and storage in the yields of the feedstock and the efficiencies of the processes. Harvesting trials were conducted at St. Gabriel, LA for evaluating the feasibility of using energy crops as inputs for ethanol production. The parameters that were varied during the trials were: billet size, fan speed of the extraction system. Several operational indicators were estimated in the study: material yield (tons/acre), sugars yield (ton/acre), ethanol yield (liter/acre) and agronomic and efficiencies indicators of the supply stages of the system. A simulation of the conceived supply system was performed in order to measure and determine the feasibility of the operation. The objective function of the model was defined as the profit maximization of ethanol production. Twenty four scenarios were simulated and evaluated for determining the optimal solutions. It was evidenced that for increasing the sugars and ethanol yield from the energy crops, it was necessary to reduce the lead times of the operations, enabling to process the material shortly after harvesting. A feasible operation of the system was guarantee when a maximum distance of 35 miles was defined for transportation logistics and when an area of 100 acres was covered for collecting the feedstock.

Date

2014

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Sarker, Bhaba

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