(315b) Optimal Production of Light Olefins from Lignocellulosic Biomass (BTO): Process Synthesis and Global Optimization
This work investigates the optimal production of light olefins from biomass within a process synthesis and global optimization framework. Light olefins are the most demanded class of petrochemicals and command two-thirds of the petrochemical commodities market . These chemicals can be produced from carbonaceous feedstocks through several novel/competing process alternatives . We propose a process superstructure with alternatives regarding (i) biomass conversion, (ii) synthesis gas cleaning, (iii) methanol production and conversion, (iv) olefins purification, (v) light gas recycle, and (vi) hydrogen and oxygen production among others. Simultaneous heat, power, and water integration is included to ensure minimum utility usage. The objective function of the proposed mathematical model maximizes the profit of the refinery. The resulting large-scale mixed integer nonlinear optimization model (MINLP) is solved to global optimality with a branch-and-bound global optimization framework. Several case studies are investigated to observe the effect of biomass type, plant scale, and topological decisions on the overall plant profitability. Significant reductions in the lifecycle GHG emissions are observed through the utilization of biomass.
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