Haley Thompson, 2011, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

During my summer internship, I worked with Dr. Eric Larson to determine biomass availability and transportation costs to several proposed plant sites in the Western United States. The proposed plant would co-proccess coal and biomass to create liquid fuels (CBTL), and would require up to 300,000 bdt of biomass annually. Biomass availability was determined using the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) and Timber Product Outpuf (TPO) databases created by the Forest Service (USFS) to approximate annual removals and timberland conditions in areas surrounding a potential plant site. Transportation costs were calculated using a worksheet developed by Bob Rummer to approximate costs to fell, process, and haul material from timberland to the plant site. Rail transportation costs were also calculated using coal rates from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. Based on these analyses I suggested placement for a CBTL plant near Missoula, MT.