Abstract for:Exploring the System-wide Impacts of Supply Risk in the Biofuel Supply Chain: A Comparative Analysis

Biomass is attracting increasing attention as a raw material for the production of energy and products. However, despite the promise of biomass-based alternatives, the development of a sustainable bio-based economy is a complex task plagued by several unique risks – technical, environmental, social and economic – throughout the biomass supply chain. Dynamic simulation, in the form of system dynamics and discrete event simulation, are commonly adopted approaches for risk-based modeling and analysis of complex technical, environmental, and social systems. Both simulation approaches can be leveraged for risk management, but which method is most appropriate for modeling risk in the biomass supply chain? Furthermore, what holistic insights do we gain or lose by adopting one method over another? In this study, we explore these questions by conducting a comparison of system dynamics and discrete event simulation to understand each approaches’ advantages, disadvantages and insights within the context of risk management specific to biofuel supply chains. This work offers the following contributions: 1) enables the comparison of two widely adopted dynamic modeling frameworks, particularly in the evaluation of risk, 2) facilitates understanding of biomass supply dynamics, and 3) assists with the design and evaluation of policies to better mitigate biomass supply risk.