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Biorefinopttm. A Practical Tool for Process Design and Economic Analysis of Integrated Biorefineries

W. J. Frederick and Steven Lien. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332

BioRefinOptTM is a software tool designed specifically for preliminary design and economic analysis for integrated biorefineries. In this context, an integrated biorefinery is an integrated industrial complex that contains at least a chemical pulp mill, a bio-based fuels plant, and a combined heat and pwer (CHP) plant. BioRefinOptTM is capable of simulating an alkaline pulp mill integrated with an ethanol plant that utilizes wood as feedstock. It has been used in several evaluations of industrial biorefinery configurations. Two specific applications have recently been reported (1,2).

BioRefinOptTM performs mass and energy balances around an entire biorefinery complex. It assesses the capacity rating for each unit operation in the integrated biorefinery complex, and it accounts for changes in throughput caused by process changes resulting from integration of an ethanol plant with a pulp mill. The input data and worksheets within BioRefinOptTM allow it to be modified to any alkaline pulp mill and/or ethanol plant configuration.

This paper describes the conceptual design of BioRefinOptTM and presents details of the models that comprise it. Examples of applications are presented.

References:

1. Frederick, W.J. Jr., Lien, S.J., Courchene, C.E., DeMartini, N.A., Ragauskas, A.J., Iisa, K. Co-Production of Ethanol and Cellulose Fiber from Southern Pine: A Technical and Economic Assessment. Accepted for publication in Biomass & Bioenergy, Oct 10, 2007.

2. Frederick, W.J. Jr., Lien, S.J., Courchene, C.E., DeMartini, N.A., Ragauskas, A.J., Iisa, K. Production of Ethanol from Carbohydrates from Loblolly Pine: A Technical and Economic Assessment. Bioresource Technology 99 (2008) 50515057.