(28d) Integrated Design and Analysis of Chemical Production from Biomass Feedstocks

Athaley, A., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Annam, P., Rutgers University
Saha, B., University of Delaware
Ierapetritou, M., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Integrated Design and Analysis of Chemical
Production from Biomass Feedstocks

Abhay Athaley1, Praneeth Annam1, Basudeb Saha2, Marianthi Ierapetritou1

1 Department of
Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey

2. Catalysis Center for
Energy Innovation & Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering,
University of Delaware

This work principally concentrates on the integrated
design, techno-economic and the life-cycle analysis of the production of
chemicals from the lignocellulose biomass. The priority for the development of
variate fine chemicals from biomass feedstock stepped-up over the changing
time. The idea of bio-refinery has been proposed that uses different conversion
technologies to produce multiple products. The success of bio-refinery is
highly dependent on its mature technology and its applicability to produce not
only high volume low cost fuels but also to produce low volume high cost

Bio-based products acceptance in the market
depends on the competitiveness of economics and sustainability when compared to
oil-based chemicals and products. In our previous work, [2]we investigated a novel hydrolysis process[3] for the productions of sugars and the
subsequent production of para-Xylene and compared it with two other hydrolysis
process (Concentrated acid hydrolysis and Dilute acid hydrolysis) using
techno-economic and life cycle assessment. In our present work, we integrate
the novel hydrolysis process to production of other high value chemicals such
as surfactants,[4] butadiene, 2-methyl styrene etc. and high
value jet fuels and combine it with the production process of para-Xylene and
phthalic anhydride.[5] The aforementioned chemicals are lucrative and
also it furthers our goal of designing an integrated bio-refinery.

work uses techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment to design and
evaluate the production alternatives. The detailed process flowsheet is
developed and simulated using Aspen Plus. The steps for the production of different
chemicals and fuels are integrated with the novel hydrolysis process into a
single flowsheet. Next, heat integration and economic analysis is carried out to
calculate the minimum selling price of each of the product. Furthermore,
sensitivity analysis is performed to analyze the bottlenecks of entire process
and to compare the cost of the chemicals with fluctuating cost of raw materials
and capacity of the plant. It is also seen that the overall cost of raw
materials increases considerably for the production of surfactants as compared
to other chemicals such as butadiene or phthalic anhydride. To check the
competitiveness of the above process in terms of sustainability Life
Cycle Analysis is carried out on SimaPro®. The results with respect to carbon
production and water consumption are shown and compared to the current oil
based processes.


1.         Lin,
Z., V. Nikolakis, and M. Ierapetritou, Alternative Approaches for p-Xylene
Production from Starch: Techno-Economic Analysis.
Industrial &
Engineering Chemistry Research, 2014. 53(26): p. 10688-10699.

2.         Athaley
. 2017.

3.         Sadula,
S., Athaley, A., Zheng, W., Ierapetritou, M., Saha, B., Process
Intensification for Cellulosic Biorefineries.
ChemSusChem, 2017. 10.

4.         Park
D., J.K., Koehle M., Krumm C., Ren L., Damen J., Shete M., Lee H., Zuo X., Lee
B., Fan W., Vlachos., Lobo R., Tsapatsis M., Dauenhauer P.,, Tunable
Oleo-Furan Surfactants by Acylation of Renewable Furans.
ACS Catalysis,
2016. 2: p. 820-824.

5.         Lin,
Z., Ierapetritou, M., Nikolakis, V.,, Phthalic anhydride production from
hemicellulose solutions: Technoeconomic analysis and life cycle assessment.

AIChE Journal, 2015. 61: p. 3708-3718.