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Analyzing the impact of intermodal facilities to the design and management of biofuels supply chain.
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  • Abstract:
    This paper analyzes the impact that an intermodal facility has on location and transportation

    decisions for biofuel production plants. Location decisions impact the management of the in-bound and out-bound logistics of a plant. We model this supply chain design and management

    problem as a mixed integer program. Input data for this model are location of intermodal

    facilities and available transportation modes; cost and cargo capacity for each transportation

    mode; geographical distribution of biomass feedstock, and production yields; and biomass

    processing, and inventory costs. Outputs from this model are the number, location and capacity

    of biofuel production plants. For each plant, the transportation mode used, timing of shipments,

    shipments size, inventory size, and production schedule that minimize the delivery cost of

    biofuel are determined. The state of Mississippi is considered as the testing grounds for our

    model. Experimental results indicate that the best location for a (corn-to-ethanol) biorefinery in

    Mississippi is Warren County, where an in-land port is located. Results indicate that, even when

    the biomass available in Mississippi is enough to operate this facility, it is economical to ship

    corn from the Midwest using barge.

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