Design for a large-scale biomass bulk terminal

Mi-Rong Wu

As one of the significant renewable energy sources, biomass materials and refined/derived biomass products have been traded internationally. The international biomass market is currently still growing, and is expected to be a large-scale trading market in the long term future. A large-scale biomass bulk terminal would be able to accommodate the import biomass flows, and the terminal also fits in the picture of large-scale biomass trades and long distance biomass supply chain.

Problem domain

Several important boundary conditions need to be taken into account in order to design such a terminal, including biomass materials, transport modes, storage and handling equipments, processing facilities, value-added activities, infrastructures, safety and environmental regulations,. Apart from these boundary conditions, in the context of sustainable international biomass trade, the terminal should also comply with sustainability demands, for instance the possible sustainability certifications and the deployment of energy efficient or environmental friendly equipments.


A simulation model will be built to accommodate the uncertainties of design parameters, and to investigate how these factors influence the terminal. Parallel to the simulation model, experiments will be performed to study the interaction and relations between the biomass materials/products and the handling/storage equipments. The feasibility of the terminal will be assessed by available tools.


The initial capacity of the terminal was set (conference paper for the 16th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition in Valencia, 2nd-6th June 2008), and the potential cargos for the terminal were studied (conference paper for the 10th International TRAIL congress in Rotterdam, 14th-15th October 2008). Next expected result is the design requirements of the biomass bulk terminal.
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This research is part of the Sustainable Mobility programme, which is a joint research programme between Shell and Delft University of Technology.

Contact person

Mi-Rong Wu, MSc.
Tel: +31-15-2786701
Fax: +31-15-2781397