(668b) Sustainable Engineering Economic and Profitability Analysis

Authors: 
Jiang, Y., West Virginia University
Bhattacharyya, D., West Virginia University

Sustainable Engineering Economic and Profitability Analysis

Yuan Jiang, Debangsu Bhattacharyya

Department of Chemical Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA

Traditional approach to process design or screening off alternative technologies and/or operating conditions is to perform techno-economic analysis. Such designs do not ensure that the resulting process is sustainable or the process that performs superior in terms of the techno-economic criteria is indeed superior in terms of sustainability measures. Therefore, in the future, it is imperative that sustainability measures be an integral part of the process design. Four pillars of sustainability analysis are energy, efficiency, environment, and society. The techno-economic analysis automatically reflects the impact of energy and efficiency, but the environmental and social impacts still need to be evaluated. Considerable progress has been made in the last several decades in quantifying a number of metrics that can be used for the three main aspects of sustainability. While economic performance of multiple technologies or design can be performed unambiguously, that is not necessarily true for environmental and social sustainability measures. Current approaches strongly rely on user perception, experience, domain knowledge, and completeness of information.

This presentation will include discussions on various methodologies and approaches for performing economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, and social sustainability analyses during process design using the commercially available tools. Application of the methodologies and approaches to the bioethanol production process considering two different technologies namely corn dry grind and wet milling will be discussed. The presentation will also provide a perspective on the future direction of research in this area to obtain sustainability measures that are rigorous yet easily obtainable for process systems.