Dutch Biomass infrastructure (BiologikNL)

Green Bulk Terminals – a Strategic Level Approach to Solid Biomass Terminal Design

Research of Ioannis Dafnomilis

Project background

As a general rule, maritime transportation has one of the highest entry costs of the transport sector; high terminal costs. Even minor changes in a port terminals' design and operations require considerable investments. Additionally, solid biomass terminal design has numerous more design considerations to take into account compared to regular bulk terminals – fire and explosion risk for infrastructure and personnel, material degradation, and biological and chemical hazards. Biomass terminal logistics are more demanding in terms of designing the terminal setup and selecting the suitable equipment to efficiently handle the product. It is therefore crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of solid biomass terminal equipment setup and operations before any substantial commitments are made.

Research goal

This project deals with the design of solid biomass terminals from a strategic operational point of view. The design of terminals is here characterized as the total equipment selection, purchase, utilization and salvage within the terminal bounds. The research aims to develop an optimization model that can be used as an aid tool for the investment planning in solid biomass terminals.



To be able to effectively develop such a tool, several fields of adjoining research need to be examined . Future solid biomass throughput of a terminal needs to be adequately identified, and the state-of-the-art of solid biomass handling in port terminals needs to be researched. Consequently, two different optimization approaches are developed, taking into consideration a set size terminal of steady biomass throughput, as well as a multi-period design approach that handles uncertainty and fluctuations of throughput effectively.