Biomass value chains and the environment-food-energy-water nexus in the Philippines: whole-systems analysis and optimisation
: (Alternative Format Thesis)

  • Stephen Doliente

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


A growing body of research shows that our scarce primary resources: food, water, energy, and the environment are becoming ever more interconnected due to a growing global population, the rise of many megacities, and our ongoing struggle against climate change. Thus, instead of being considered in isolation, all these primary resources must now be managed holistically as a system and its fragile balance, referred to as the nexus, must be maintained for a sustainable future. With biomass now rapidly tapped by many countries as a renewable source for energy and materials, the nexus is vulnerable to disruption due to the large quantities of land, water, and energy needed for biomass production. Biomass value chains or the series and/or network of activities (e.g., cultivation, conversion, storage, transport, and distribution), which transform crops into various bio-products, also produce greenhouse gases and other pollutants. For biomass to truly become a part of the clean energy solution while ensuring food security, water conservation, and climate protection, holistic approaches in policy-making are critically needed. This PhD thesis is focussed on the development and application of whole-systems, optimisation, and data-driven approaches to aid in maximising the synergistic interactions while minimising the non-cooperative interactions between biomass value chains and the environment-food-energy-water nexus in the Philippines. The Value Web Model is attributed and acknowledged for its foundational role in the novel optimisation models developed and applied for the Philippine setting. These are designed to help in making critical decisions, such as what biomass crops to grow, where to locate plantations, what technologies and infrastructures to invest in, what products to make and how to distribute them, and which transport modes to use. Answering these critical decisions will result in a more systematic, strategic, and evidence-based deployment of biomass while minimising costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and freshwater consumption.
Date of Award6 Jul 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorSheila Samsatli (Supervisor) & Jan Hofman (Supervisor)


  • biomass
  • biomass value chains
  • value chain approach
  • resource efficiency
  • environment-food-energy-water nexus
  • food-energy-water-environment nexus
  • nexus approach
  • sustainability
  • spatio-temporal mutli-objective modelling and optimisation
  • whole-systems analysis
  • multi-product value chains
  • integrated value chains
  • value chain modelling and optimisation
  • supply chain modelling and optimisation
  • rice value chains
  • rice supply chains
  • Jatropha value chains
  • Jatropha supply chains
  • grains
  • crop residues
  • whole crop processing
  • circular economy
  • land suitability analysis
  • fuzzy sets
  • sustainable palm oil
  • sustainable land use
  • sustainable aviation
  • sustainable aviation fuel
  • bio-aviation fuel
  • biomass feedstocks
  • conversion technologies
  • storage and transport
  • bio-aviation fuel value chains
  • economic analysis
  • environmental analysis
  • water footprint
  • land footprint

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