(624e) Energy Biorefineries: Design and Analysis

Authors: 
Cardona, C. A., Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Moncada, J., Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Gómez, A., Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Aristizábal, V., Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Nowadays, oil sources are decreasing, constant fluctuations and uncertainty of oil prices, together with environmental concerns is the starting point for policy making relating energy security for the development and production of sustainable, renewable, clean and energetic efficient fuels (EIA ; Cherubini 2010). Currently, the population growth has caused an increase in energy demand especially in the transportation sector. The United States Department of Energy said that the world consumption of fuel is 190 million per day approximately. This great volume indicates the necessity of the inclusion of alternative fuels. In the past decade, the production of biofuels from feedstocks with low production cost which do not compete with the worldwide food security have been studied (Rincón, Moncada et al. 2014). These feedstocks play an important role in mitigation of environmental pollution. Colombia is in fifth place as world producer of palm of oil and is the fourth world producer of oil palm due to its favorable agro-ecological conditions (Rincón, Hernández et al. 2014). Oil from palm and residues of palm leads to the formation of products that have an economic potential. This work develops a design and analysis strategy for the production of biofuels from palm by means of techno-economic assessment. All the integrated processes to produce energy from biomass are projected in a profitable and sustainable vision within the biorefinery concept. Energy biorefineries is a new concept that highlights the only production of different types of bioenergy (either direct, such as from combustion of biomass, or indirect, for instance through biofuel production).

Aspen plus V8.0 was used as computational tool for the techno-economic evaluation of energy biorefinery. The products of biorefinery are: ethanol, butanol, hydrogen, biogas and biodiesel. Biodiesel was made from palm oil. Ethanol was made from glycerol as residue of biodiesel production by fermentation using Escherichia coli. Butanol, hydrogen and biogas was made from empty fruit bunch of palm as lignocellulosic raw material. Butanol production was made by acetone, butanol and ethanol (ABE) fermentation of sugars using Clostridium beijerinckii. Hydrogen was made in two stages, stage I—dark fermentation using Enterobacter cloacae and stage II—photofermentation using Rhodobacter sphaeroides having as substrate glucose. As a result, a prefeasibility study of ethanol, butanol, hydrogen, biogas and biodiesel was made to demonstrate that the energy biorefineries can be an interesting option to be used.

Cherubini, F. (2010). "The biorefinery concept: Using biomass instead of oil for producing energy and chemicals." Energy Conversion and Management 51(7): 1412-1421.

EIA. "Total Petroleum Consumption." Retrieved October 21, 2013.

Rincón, L. E., V. Hernández, et al. (2014). "Analysis of technological schemes for the efficient production of added-value products from Colombian oleochemical feedstocks." Process Biochemistry 49(3): 474-489.

Rincón, L. E., J. Moncada, et al. (2014). "Analysis of potential technological schemes for the development of oil palm industry in Colombia: A biorefinery point of view." Industrial Crops and Products 52(0): 457-465.

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