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Assessing the Production of Novel Chemicals Using Business-Inspired Approaches

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  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Annual Meeting
  • Presentation Date:
    November 17, 2020
  • Duration:
    16 minutes
  • Skill Level:
    Intermediate
  • PDHs:
    0.30

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Defining which set of chemicals should be produced in different settings is undoubtedly a very challenging task. Within the chemical engineering community traditional approaches rely on first identifying molecules/mixture of molecules having desired properties, then proposing different feed-to-products production pathways and designing appropriate processes; finally, screening through the different products and production pathways is accomplished mainly by techno-economic analysis (TEA) and in some cases superstructure based optimization. However, decision makers, either in industry, funding agencies or at government level, are rarely interested in the design underpinnings, and approach the problem from the “market perspective” in which the economics play a role but may not be the defining one.

Inspired by Porter's “Five forces framework” an analysis tool commonly used for the development of business strategies [1], our group has recently published a novel algorithm for the assessment of promising biobased chemicals [2]. The original framework proposes to take into account the bargaining power of suppliers and consumers, the threat of competing products, the entry barriers that a certain company will face, and the rivalry with established companies, to analyse whether a business will be attractive or not. Our algorithm translates these statements into metrics and decision making trees that make sense for chemical processing industries. Our goal in pursuing so, was to be able to include this market/ business perspective in our own product/process designs so that we could have a broader picture of the design problem, better communicate with companies’ representatives and funding agencies, and ideally propose product/process pairs that can alleviate the weaknesses that the framework identifies.

The goal of this presentation is to discuss the framework itself, the rationale behind the development of the algorithm and the assumptions that we have made. Despite being developed thinking on biomass-based products/processes, the algorithm can be easily generalized to other settings; the changes required for this generalization will be discussed. The methodology itself will be exemplified by analyzing several of the products that are being considered for expansion of the production value chains in Uruguay: a country with no proven fossil feedstocks reserves but plenty of biomass and biomass-based residues and a population that increasingly seeks for green alternatives of traditional products.

This work was funded by the Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación (ANII) Grants FSE_1_2015_1_109976 and FSE_1_2018_1_152900.

References

[1] Porter M. The five competitive forces that shape strategy. Harvard Business Review 2008;86(1):23-41.

[2] Helal A, Kreimerman R, Gutiérrez S,Torres AI. A market-driven algorithm for the assessment of promising bio-based chemicals. AIChE Journal. 2019;e16775.

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Checkout

Checkout

Do you already own this?

Pricing


Individuals

AIChE Member Credits 0.5
AIChE Members $19.00
AIChE Graduate Student Members Free
AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free
Non-Members $29.00
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