466262 On the Systematic Integration of Different Generation Biorefineries

Thursday, November 17, 2016: 8:30 AM
Carmel I (Hotel Nikko San Francisco)
Aikaterini D. Mountraki, School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Greece, Athens, Greece, Ana M. López Contreras, Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen UR, Wageningen, Netherlands, Bouchra Benjelloun Mlayah, Compagnie Industrielle de la Matičre Végétale, France, Labege, France and Antonis C. Kokossis, School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece

As the world strives to create a more sustainable environment, the biorefinery community fights to minimize the environmental impact of bioprocesses and build a green economy. The use of biomass as raw material for production of energy carriers and chemicals has emerged as a promising alternative to fossil resources for mitigating climate change and enhancing energy security. Second generation biorefineries (2G) came up as the natural evolution of the first generation (1G) bioprocesses to preserve food resources, while, recently, seaweed and microalgae processes have also started to hatch as the third generation (3G) biorefieneries. As different generation biorefineries treat different feedstock, their integration can reduce energy consumption and result in a more economical design with lower environmental impacts than the stand-alone.

To date, first and second generation processes have been integrated by the adoption of grassroots design methodologies [1-4], while, in reality, their coupling is far more complex. The upgrade of first generation plants constitutes a retrofit problem, constrained to make the best use of the invested equipment of the existing plant. Second and third generation upgrades account for new technology and investment very flexible to adjust so that the upgrades are best, but the portfolios of products need also to be investigated. Apart from integrating energy, there is also significant potential to exchange (by-) products. For example, bagasse can be used as feedstock in the second generation process, and, similarly, lignin can be used as fuel for the co-generation unit, while wastewater could be used for algae cultivation. Moreover, the processes may share common sections, like the downstream processes. Finally, the co-generation (CHP) unit, after modifications, can support both plants. Thus, the integration of first and second generation biorefineries is a combined grassroots–retrofit design problem, much larger and complex than most conventional applications, that hides inner trade-offs and proves the deficiency of present-day practices in proposing realistic. The size and the complexity of the problem impose the need for a systematic approach in the form of mathematical models.

This work studies the different symbiotic options in the integration of different generation biorefineries, scoping for the development of a new systematic methodology, which can combine different process systems engineering tools for the integration of grassroots-retrofitted problems. Detailed designs for sugarcane (1G), bagasse (2G), and seaweed (3G) ethanol production are developed in Aspen Plus®, validated by the industrial partner (CIMV ProcessTM) and laboratory experiments, and the potential of cultivating microalgae in wastewater is also investigated. The detailed models feed the mathematical models, developed in GAMS®. The processes are integrated following a mixed mathematical model. The model applies the methodology of retrofit integration on first generation [5] and grassroots integration on second and third generation technology [6, 7], following the transhipment analysis. Preliminary results indicate a significant potential in internal trade-offs savings, both in operating and capital cost.

Acknowledgment: The financial support from Marie Curie European Research Program, RENESENG (FP-607415) is gratefully acknowledged.


[1] R. Palacios-Bereche, A. Ensinas, M.Modesto, and S. Nebra, 2012, Ethanol production by enzymatic hydrolysis from sugarcane biomass–the integration with the conventional process. In Proceedings of the Ecos 2012–25th international conference on efficiency, cost, optimization, simulation and environmental impact of energy systems (pp. 26-29).

[2] M. Dias, O. Cavalett, R. Maciel Filho, and A. Bonomi, 2014, Integrated first and second generation ethanol production from sugarcane, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 37, 445-450.

[3] P.R. Lennartsson, P. Erlandsson, and M.J. Taherzadeh, 2014, Integration of the first and second generation bioethanol processes and the importance of by-products, Bioresource technology, 165, 3-8.

[4] J. Moncada, J. A.Tamayo, and C.A. Cardona, (2014). Integrating first, second, and third generation biorefineries: Incorporating microalgae into the sugarcane biorefinery. Chemical Engineering Science, 118, 126-140.

[5] R. Smith, M. Jobson, and L. Chen, 2010, Recent development in the retrofit of heat exchanger networks, Applied Thermal Engineering, 30(16), 2281-2289.

[6] A. Kokossis and A. Yang, 2010, On the use of systems technologies and a systematic approach for the synthesis and the design of future biorefineries, Computers & Chemical Engineering, 34, 1397-1405.

[7] A. Kokossis, M. Tsakalova, and K. Pyrgakis, 2015, Design of integrated biorefineries, Computers and Chemical Engineering, 81, 40–56.

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See more of this Session: Design of Integrated Biorefineries II
See more of this Group/Topical: Computing and Systems Technology Division