Multi-objective optimization of a sugarcane biorefinery for integrated ethanol and methanol production

The present study evaluates a sugarcane biorefinery producing ethanol through juice fermentation and methanol via gasification of sugarcane lignocellulosic residues and liquid fuel synthesis. Two technologies of gasification named entrained flow and circulating fluidized bed are compared. Flowsheet modeling and thermo-economic analysis methods are applied, followed by a multi-objective optimization based on a genetic algorithm. The optimum Ethanol Methanol biorefinery design options are compared with other previously studied sugarcane biorefineries. The results show that the biorefinery's energy efficiency increases significantly with the integration of a methanol production plant in a conventional ethanol distillery. The configuration using an entrained flow gasifier presents lower conversion efficiency than the one using a circulating fluidized bed gasifier. However, for the entrained flow gasifier configuration, the size of the methanol production process could be bigger since more heat is available for the ethanol process favouring the integration with the ethanol plant. Higher energy efficiency due to increase of methanol production leads to a higher total investment for both gasification technologies. The cost analysis shows that the calculated methanol production cost is 30% higher than its current market price. Environmental incentives for biofuels could change this scenario but are not in the scope of this study. (c) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Published in:
Energy, 138, 1281-1290

 Record created 2018-01-15, last modified 2020-10-24

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