(587d) Simulation and Techno-Economic Analysis of Mixed Alcohol Production From Seaweed Using Mixalco Process
Seaweed is a promising source of bioethanol that can be grown more quickly than land-based crops and harvested as fuel without sacrificing usable land. Besides the other advantages of macroalgae like higher productivity, lack of lignin in the chemical structure of macroalgae allows to have milder pretreatment conditions and increased conversion rates for biofuel production. During the last decade, the MixAlco process was studied thoroughly and proved to have high alcohol yield. The process utilizes anaerobic fermentation for volatile fatty acids (VFAs) production and converting them into carboxylate salts. Later, carboxylate salts are dewatered, esterified and hydrogenated into mixed alcohol products. New dewatering process known as multi-effect vapor compression evaporator greatly contribute into plant economy. In this study a 100,000 ton/yr seaweed processing plant were simulated in Aspen plus v7.3 and techno-economic models were developed to evaluate process economy. Techno-economic models were used to find the advantages and bottlenecks of MixAlco process and optimize it toward better plant economy. Results showed that the MixAlco process is a promising and economically viable substitute for biofuel production.