Biofuels are a promising alternative to fossil fuel depletion, due to their sustainable production from living or recently living organic matter (i.e., biomass). Biofuel production offers benefits that are not present in non-sustainable resources, like the reduction of air pollution. According to government agencies, biofuel production is expected to increase in the U.S. within the next few years because of government initiatives. In order to become a feasible alternative to satisfy market demand, biofuels require strategic improvements in areas such as supply chain management to deal with the variability within the biomass. Advanced analysis tools might be utilized to integrate biomass physical and chemical properties into the decision processes. This chapter introduces a principal component analysis (PCA) to determine significant factors that affect the operations within the supply chain and, later on, incorporates those factors in an optimization model for the decision analysis. The results show that incorporating quality-related properties has a significant impact in the solution of the optimization program.
Part of the book: Advances in Biofuels and Bioenergy