Demand for Integrated Assessment and Planning Methods for Renewable Raw Material Logistic Chains

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Summarizing, it can be stated that development and implementation of renewable raw material logistics chains requires an integrated assessment and planning under agro- and forest industry, technological, economic, ecological, and social aspects. The utilization chains should not be regarded isolated but have to be seen in the context of existing and further developing pathways and their possible inter--inkages. The particularities of the renewable raw materials as described in this chapter have to be reflected as well as the technical requirements of the utilization processes for the scope of the whole value chain.

As a consequence, a wide variety of methodologies come into play for an integrated assessment. Potential analyses for single raw materials or utilization pathways have been carried out with geographic information systems (GIS) (see e.g., [71, 72]). Basically, these analyses combine statistical data (e.g., rainfall, productivity, land use) with spatial information. As a result potentials of different raw materials are presented on maps. Further studies include aspects of facility location planning, for example, for bioethanol (see [73]) or BtL plants (see [74]).

Material and energy flow analyses with material flow analysis tools and flow sheet simulation systems are carried out to assess as well as to balance and configure technical processes. Economic evaluations are based on the results material and energy flow analyses. Examples for such works are -39, 75]- To determine investments and raw material, energy and total production costs as well as revenues static and dynamic investment calculation methods are carried out.

Material and energy balances are as well the basis of ecological assessments. These should not only focus on possible achievements concerning reductions of greenhouse gases or primary resource consumptions but also on other environmental impacts too. Life-cycle assessment (LCA, see ISO 14040 and 14044) is the tool to do this. LCA quantifies and evaluates a number of environmental impacts caused by products, production systems or services. Contrary to other concepts, like for example, the carbon footprints or CO2 abatement costs LCA provides the possibility to cover ecological issues more comprehensively and differentiated.

GIS-based analyses are also used in facility location planning, for example, for bioethanol plants [73] or BtL plants [74]. Additionally operations research provides a large toolset for the mathematical characterization, formulation, and solution of facility location planning problems and supply chain design. Overviews can be found, for example, in [76, 77]. Examples for applications to the industrial valorization of renewable raw materials can be found in [39, 40, 78]. Some works combine both approaches (see, e.g., [79, 80]).

-n those assessment tasks where technical, economic, ecological, and social criteria have to be regarded there are usually no clearly dominating alternatives. Hence, solutions clearly superior to all other alternatives are unlikely. Advantages and disadvantages of certain alternatives need to be traded off. The complex dependencies and the amount of information that has to be processed in most cases require aided decision making. Multicriteria decision making (MCDM) that helps to aggregate and weigh information is one method of choice. However, to determine weighting factors for decision categories as well as suitable levels of aggregation in order to safeguard a comprehensible and at the same time differentiated decision is challenging. To assess discrete alternatives methods of multiattributive decision making (MADM) like multiattributive value theory (MAVT) (see [81]), multiattributive utility theory (MAUT) (see [82]) or so-called outranking methods that compare alternatives pair wise are suitable. To visualize results of MCDM spider web diagrams (see, e.g., [39]) have proven one's worth. For further reading concerning MCDM methods we refer to [83].

Although a broad methodological toolset exists for single aspects of logistic chains planning and assessment, a complete coverage of all aspects in a single and integrated framework is-so far-missing.

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