A Cyberinfrastructure Plat Form for the Modeling and Optimization of Biomass Logistics

Chapa, Mario Xavier
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This thesis presents the development of a web-based decision support system for the purpose of aiding researchers in the study of biomass transportation logistics. The support system will allow researchers to store data and run computer code on remote computer hardware supplied by the Texas Advanced Computing Center and will be accessible anywhere to anyone with a web browser. The goal is to visualize optimal transportation routes and find optimal locations for biorefineries and depots. An early version of the DesignSafe Natural Hazards Research Portal is used to provide the template for the web portal. The Agave platform is used to provide the connection between the web portal and the computational hardware. The development of computer code and applications to run the computations for the biomass network design optimization is discussed as well as their integration with the web portal. A case study is then performed for depots and biorefineries within the South-Central Region of the United States. The optimal network of counties, depots, biorefineries, and the biomass flows between them is obtained and analyzed in Google Earth. Finally, the limitations and future work are discussed.

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Biomass Logistics, Cyberinfrastructure, Decision Support System
Mechanical Engineering