(573aa) Optimal Allocation of Carbon Resources In An Integrated Biorefinery

Yuan, W. - Presenter, Auburn University
Bommareddy, S. - Presenter, Auburn University

The integrated biorefinery, which uses renewable feedstocks from the forest-based industries, has the opportunity to provide a strong, self-dependent, sustainable alternative for the production of bulk and fine chemicals from polymers, fiber composites and pharmaceuticals to energy, liquid fuels and hydrogen. With such a wide range of processing steps and possible products, it is obvious that identification of the optimum process structure can not be done based on heuristics or rules of thumb. Changing market conditions may dictate a dynamic optimum for the allocation of resources and production capacity, resulting in a myriad of possible long-term product portfolios as well as a need for a net present value perspective which takes into account the time value of money. Economic market analysis, predictive financial modeling, and optimization under uncertainty are tools that can be used to determine the sensitivity of a decision-making framework to market fluctuations. Thus there is a need for systematic, reliable methods capable of incorporating different levels of process detail in the decision making framework. In this work a mathematical optimization based framework is being developed, which enables the inclusion of profitability measures and other techno-economic metrics along with process insights and performance characteristics obtained from experimental and modeling studies. By utilizing process integration methods, the processing steps can be optimized to ensure efficient use of energy and materials resources while assuring an acceptable, minimal level of environmental impact through the use of EPA's WAR algorithm. An inherent benefit of the proposed framework comes from the decoupling of the complex models from the selection step, which results in the ability to adapt to new developments within any of the processing steps and thus also incorporate novel innovative production processes in the decision-making framework. In this way, experimental and theoretical efforts can supplement each other in a synergistic manner, by providing direction and data for continued work. This contribution will illustrate the strategy for developing the decision making framework as well as highlighting the flexibility of the framework to utilize data from technological breakthroughs in the field of biorefining.