A techno-economic analysis of biodiesel biorefineries: Assessment of integrated designs for the co-production of fuels and chemicals

Publication year: 2011
Source: Energy, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 14 June 2011

Anestis, Vlysidis , Michael, Binns , Colin, Webb , Constantinos, Theodoropoulos

In this work we explore the concept of integrated biorefineries, and we examine alternative schemes for the co-production of biofuels (biodiesel) and chemicals (succinic acid). Four different biorefinery schemes considering the different uses of crude glycerine from the biodiesel process are simulated and compared: (i) the disposal of crude glycerine as a waste, (ii) the purification (through distillation) of crude glycerine to 80%, (iii) the purification of glycerine to 95%. and (iv) the production of succinic acid from glycerine through fermentation. For the latter, we consider the bioprocess that converts the glycerol to succinate, and a downstream separation process that…

 Highlights: ►We simulate alternative schemes for integrated biorefineries highlighting the co-production of fuels and chemicals through glycerol bioconversion to succinic acid. ► We perform single- and multi-objective optimization to compute optimal operating conditions that maximize biorefinery profitability and control CO2 emissions. ► We perform extensive economic analysis using measurements like Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return robustly comparing biorefinery schemes.► We perform sensitivity analysis considering price fluctuations for raw materials, products/byproducts assessing profitability of biorefineries under different economic scenarios.