Integrated Biomass Supply and Logistics (IBSAL)

Integrated Biomass Supply and Logistics (IBSAL)

IBSAL is a decision-making support tool that has been used to understand the complexity and dynamics of the biomass supply chains. It is a dynamic tool that incorporates variability and uncertainty in the input parameters such as weather data, biomass yield and biomass quality and logistics equipment failure.

The heart of the IBSAL model is “engineering equations” for design of unit operations and to monitor changes in the system such as moisture content, dry matter loss, field working condition and equipment performance). These equations enable IBSAL to provide accurate information on the performance of the entire biomass supply chain in terms of cost, quantity and quality.

IBSAL Database

The IBSAL database has been developed gradually in the last 10 years in collaborations with the logistics equipment OEMs such as John Deere, AGCO, Vermeer, and Andritz. The database has detailed information on the equipment properties and their engineering economics. Examples of the logistics equipment are harvest and collection equipment, handling equipment, transportation equipment, preprocessing equipment, conveyors and storage configurations.

The biomass supply chains that have been developed, analyzed and optimized by IBSAL include agricultural residues (e.g. corn stover and wheat straw), dedicated biomass crops (e.g. Miscanthus and Willow), forest and sawmill residues, wood pellet, sugarcane bagasse, oilseed crops and municipal solid waste.

The following decisions can be made using the IBSAL model:

  • Location of bio-processing facility
  • Location of storage sites
  • Number of biomass suppliers to contract and their location
  • Ownership and custom operating costs ($/dry tonne)
  • Biomass inventory planning
  • Truck planning and scheduling
  • Number of required logistics equipment
  • Daily flow of biomass in the entire biomass supply chain
  • Dry matter loss monitoring
  • Moisture content monitoring
  • Biomass delivered cost ($/dry tonne)
  • Equipment energy consumption and its associated CO2 emissions

You can find more information about the IBSAL model and the previous projects here

List of the IBSAL publications


Development of a quantitative risk analysis approach to evaluate the economic performance of an industrial-scale biorefinery

A novel risk analysis methodology to evaluate the economic performance of a biorefinery and to quantify the economic incentives for participating biomass producers

Impact of Parcel Size, Field Shape, Crop Yield, Storage Location, and Collection Equipment on the Performance of Single-Pass Cut-and-Chip Harvest System in Commercial Shrub Willow Fields


Estimating the required logistical resources to support the development of a sustainable corn stover bioeconomy in the USA

Impact of the biorefinery size on the logistics of corn stover supply–A scenario analysis


Simulation of logistics to supply corn stover to the Ontario power generation (OPG) plant in Lambton, Ontario


Development of an integrated tactical and operational planning model for supply of feedstock to a commercial‐scale bioethanol plant


Design and scheduling of agricultural biomass supply chain for a cellulosic ethanol plant

Modeling and analysing storage systems in agricultural biomass supply chain for cellulosic ethanol production


A new simulation model for multi-agricultural biomass logistics system in bioenergy production

2010 and earlier

Switchgrass (Panicum vigratum L.) delivery to a biorefinery using integrated biomass supply analysis and logistics (IBSAL) model

Technoeconomic analysis of wheat straw densification in the Canadian Prairie Province of Manitoba.

Development and implementation of integrated biomass supply analysis and logistics (IBSAL) model.

The impact of agricultural residue yield range on the delivered cost to a biorefinery in the Peace River region of Alberta