Bioslurry as a Fuel. 1. Viability of a Bioslurry-Based Bioenergy Supply Chain for Mallee Biomass in Western Australia
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This paper evaluates the economic feasibility of a bioenergy supply chain based on bioslurry (i.e., bio-oil/ char slurry) for mallee biomass in Western Australia (WA). The bioslurry-based supply chain utilizes distributed pyrolysers within the biomass production area, converts the harvested green biomass into bioslurry fuels, and then delivers the bioslurry fuels to a central bioenergy plant. The results show that the overall economic feasibility of such a supply chain depends on the trade-off between the reduction in biomass transport cost and the increase in costs due to the introduction of distributed pyrolysers (including bioslurry preparation) and bioslurry transport. For a dedicated bioenergy plant situated within the biomass production area, a bioslurry-based supply chain is only competitive on a large scale (e.g.,>1500 dry tonnes per day), and small bioenergy plants (e.g.,<500 dry tonnes per day) still favor a conventional biomass supply chain. However, a bioslurry-based supply chain offers significant advantages in reducing the delivered cost of fuels at the plant gate when the central bioenergy plant is distant from biomass production area. This is the case for cofiring biomass/bioslurry in coal-fired power stations inWA.Bioslurry offers significant advantages to address the key issues associated with biomass utilization, including high transport cost, poor grindability and mismatch in fuel properties if coprocessing with coal.Abioslurry-based supply chain alsomakes it economically feasible to substantially increase the uptake of bioenergy proportion in coal-fired power stations, e.g., from 5% in a biomass supply chain to 20% in a bioslurry-based bioenergy supply chain.
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