(441d) Releases Estimation and Impact Assessment of a Novel Feedstock Biorefinery | AIChE

(441d) Releases Estimation and Impact Assessment of a Novel Feedstock Biorefinery


Quintanar-Orozco, E. T. - Presenter, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo
Lima, F. V., West Virginia University
Ruiz-Mercado, G., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Agbleze, S., West Virginia University
Lucho-Constantino, C. A., Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo
Beltrán-Hernández, I., Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo
The valorization of novel renewable bio-based feedstocks under a biorefinery scheme is a new way to generate added-value products (e.g., biofuel, fine chemicals) via an optimized process that generates fewer releases and environmental impact than currently equivalent industrial approaches. This work examines a novel process that enables the alternative use of Opuntia spp. as a low-value renewable feedstock, which is considered a waste material otherwise. The novel biorefinery process enables the production of biofertilizers, biogas, and other valuable products. With the currently available feedstock supply infrastructure, there is potential to generate and provide up to 8 tons/ha/year of feedstock for the biorefinery. Thus, this material can be a sustainable feedstock in a proposed biorefinery. Also, the biorefinery operating costs can be cheaper than the current industrial approach to obtain fine chemicals (e.g., food additives) due to the low raw material costs. To analyze the environmental, economic, energy, and material sustainability impacts of the entire biorefinery process using this novel feedstock, the GREENSCOPE tool is employed.

In the proposed process, a developed main feedstock pretreatment separation scheme reduces the needs of external material inputs into the process, including water. This scheme improves the process sustainability performance evaluated by GREENSCOPE. In addition to the production of biogas and biofertilizers, it is possible to obtain two other important products (hydrocolloids), with high quality and production yields comparable with findings by other researchers.

A biorefinery Aspen Plus simulation is developed for the proposed process and results are validated by comparing the simulation outputs with experimental data. The GREENSCOPE tool is then employed to evaluate the biorefinery simulation. The GREENSCOPE results show the promising potential of this novel process in the environmental, economic, material and energy efficiency areas.

The views expressed in this abstract are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


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