This paper presents a system of systems (SoS) Biofuel model considering the interdependency among the systems involved in biofuel development, including biofuel refinery location, transportation infrastructure, agricultural production and markets, environment, and social communities. The model provides the optimal infrastructure development and land-use allocation for biofuel production in a region considering socio-economic and water quality and quantity effects. The optimal development plan quantifies economic and hydrologic outputs and specifies biofuel refinery locations and capacities, refinery operations, land allocation between biofuel and food crops, optimal shipments of products and feedstock, and transportation infrastructure. The model is formulated as a mixed integer linear program (MILP) and is solved by an algorithm developed specifically to cope with the large size of the optimization problem. In addition to the development of the SoS-Biofuel model, this paper demonstrates the functionality of the model and its ability to analyze the effects of interdependency among subsystems by applying it to a watershed in Illinois. The SoS-Biofuel model is used to investigate the effects of different biofuel polices on infrastructure needs and related environmental consequences, highlighting the interdependencies inherent in the optimal development of the entire system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04014050
JournalJournal of Infrastructure Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Biofuel mandate
  • Boifuel development
  • Infrastructure
  • Multidisciplinary modeling
  • Systems of Systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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