Early-stage decision making approach for the selection of optimally integrated biorefinery processes

Lignocellulosic biorefineries are the best non-petroleum alternatives for a sustainable development. In the biorefinery process design, it is important to implement an algorithm that allows systematic generation, evaluation of energy conversion chains and making comparison of different pathways, ranking them according to different performance criteria. To achieve these goals, a methodology has been proposed to systematically define an ordered set of solutions using mixed integer linear programming models with integer cut constraints. In this study, we apply a systematic approach which adopts thermo-environomic optimization together with heat integration to assess the economic performance, environmental impact and energy requirement of several process options. Both sugars and syngas platforms are compared considering multiple products (energy services, valuable chemicals, fuels). A superstructure of different processes is developed and heat recovery potentials in the systems are analyzed using pinch analysis. Different pathways are evaluated and ranked according to different objective functions to understand the best combination of products and the synergies between them. Our results provide a set of candidate solutions according to minimum total cost and environmental impact as objective functions, considering benefit of heat integration between different pathways to obtain energy efficient biorefinery systems with improved process economics and reduced environmental impacts.

Published in:
Energy, 137, 908-916

 Record created 2017-04-25, last modified 2019-05-23

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