The AI4B project [IT infrastructures for the optimisation of supply chains in symbiotic bioenergy networks with accountability services] had as its main purpose to develop innovative ICT infrastructures for the creation and Optimization of supply chains of biomass and installation of symbiotic networks, with emphasis on the prefectures of Larissa and Trikala and the wider region of Thessaly.
The term biomass includes any material derived from living organisms. In particular, biomass for energy purposes includes any type that can be used for the production of solid, liquid and/or gaseous fuels. In practice there are two types: the residual forms of biomass (all kinds of vegetable residues and animal waste and waste) and secondly the biomass produced from energy crops. The large dispersion and seasonality in the production of biomass get tough the continuous supply with raw material of its utilization units. There are also difficulties in collecting, transporting, and storing biomass that increase the cost of recovery.
Symbiotic networks are the practice through which various stakeholders (businesses, institutions, collectives, public, etc.) meet in order to exchange materials, energy, water and by-products. In this way, not only does the cost of production decrease, but the protection of the environment is also promoted. The key to the operation of a symbiotic network are the possibilities of synergies offered on the basis of geographical proximity.
The area of study and pilot application of the project concerned the prefectures of Larissa and Trikala and the wider region of Thessaly, a region with a large potential of biomass produced but under-exploited. It is a region that occupies 10.6% of the total area of Greece while the agricultural land constitutes a large percentage of its its, while at the same time we meet extensive wooded areas.