(659b) Thermodynamic Analysis of a Lignocelullose-Based Furfural Biorefinery
Currently, there are concerns to reduce the fossil fuel dependence, and therefore new energy sources are being proposed to supply the increasing energy demand. Therefore, biomass appears as a promising alternative to produce environmentally friendly compounds with competitive advantages over non-renewable compounds. Thus, as a result bio-furfural has become one of the most important compounds and commonly used worldwide. Alternatively, bio-furfural has been used as a building block to develop chemical platforms in order to produce some other compounds of industrial interest [1, 2].
This work develops a thermodynamic analysis of the production of furfural in a lignocellulose- based biorefinery including experimental verification. To do this, it was included a productivity analysis, energetic calculations and economic evaluations to obtain furfural from sugarcane bagasse. To do the thermodynamic evaluation to produce this compound, there were used different tools such as exergy and emergy analysis of the process. The exergy analysis predicts the thermodynamic performance of an energy system and the efficiency of the system components by accurately quantifying the entropy-generation of the components [3, 4]. On the other hand, the emergy analysis of a product or a service is the total measure of the solar energy utilized, directly or indirectly, in the formation process of the resource, the product or the process . In this way, a biorefinery, its raw materials and its products can be evaluated following both methodologies.
Besides, it was carried out an evaluation of the thermodynamic behavior of the mixtures involved in the process with the purpose of proposing the downstream processing section of the biorefinery. Also, a techno-economic assessment supported by a simulation procedure of the whole process was performed. Along with the calculations mentioned above, the results obtained with these approaches were analyzed through experimental procedures studying the properties of the produced furfural and the configuration of a simple biorefinery. This type of analysis allows to build trade-offs between the products of the biorefinery and the energy requirement associated to produce them. As a result, the thermodynamic evaluation is therefore particularly useful for assessing sustainability of chemical production systems which involve a multitude of energy and material flows and moreover it provides a realistic measure of the potential for improving the thermodynamic efficiency of the overall biorefinery.
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