Hybrid Poplar based Biorefinery Siting Web Application (HP-BiSWA): An online decision support application for siting hybrid poplar based biorefineries

Justin Merz, Varaprasad Bandaru, Quinn Hart, Nathan Parker, Bryan M. Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Hybrid poplar has potential as feedstock for the production of bioenergy and bio-based products. Planning effective placement of hybrid poplar based biorefinery facilities takes tremendous time and financial resources. A hybrid poplar based biorefinery siting application (HP-BiSWA), a web-enabled refinery siting application, was developed so that potential stakeholders may quickly assess available resources at selected locations and provide information relating to the economic competitiveness and financial risks associated with construction and operation. At present, the tool supports evaluation of the potential for hybrid poplar based jet fuel and acetic acid production based on user-specified conditions. The application is generally expandable to other feedstock, technology, and product types. HP-BiSWA uses various modules (i.e. 3PG-crop growth model and farm budget application) and services (i.e. parcel service, transportation routing service, crop service, soil and weather services) to retrieve and estimate information to optimize and select potential parcels for poplar cultivation, and ultimately determine net revenue for biofuel production under selected decision options. To demonstrate the utility of HP-BiSWA, a case study analysis was performed for Centralia, WA based on a 380 ML/yr (100 MGY) jet fuel biorefinery using two scenarios: (1) a 175 km feedstock supply radius with 50% pastureland use, and (2) a 225 km feedstock supply radius with 25% pastureland use. The case study captures the interactive effects on biorefinery performance with changes in feedstock supply area and available water, power, and other resources for operation of the biorefinery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
StatePublished - Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Horticulture


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