(666b) Economic and Modeling Analysis of Product and Energy Driven Biorefineries Based on Thermal Deoxygenation Pathway
AIChE Annual Meeting
2017 Annual Meeting
Computing and Systems Technology Division
Integrated Product and Process Design
Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 8:21am to 8:42am
Biorefineries can be classified into product- and energy-driven biorefineries. The thermal deoxygenation pathway invented by University of Maine researchers offers flexibility in use of feedstock, which allow us to construct both product- and energy-driven biorefineries. In the product-driven biorefinary, lignocellulosic feedstock such as wood is converted primarily to furfural (a potential bio-based building block) along with co-products biofuel and biomaterials char and activated carbon. In the energy-driven biorefinary, cellulose rich feedstock such as cardboard is mainly used to produce biofuel along with the co-product levulinic acid (a potential bio-based building block). In this study, we performed economic and modeling analysis of product- and energy-driven biorefineries based on thermal deoxygenation pathway to determine the best type of a biorefinary in terms of economic returns. Greenfield and brownfield plant site scenarios were considered in the economic assessment of product- and energy-driven biorefineries. ASPEN plus simulation software was used to model each type of biorefinary. Capital and operating costs were estimated for a plant capacity of 2000 metric ton per day of bone dry biomass feedstock, using the simulated material and energy balances. The discounted cash flow analysis with an internal rate of return of 10% was employed to estimate the minimum selling price of bio-based products produced in both product- and energy-driven biorefineries. Finally, economic viability of producing activated carbon from char rather than burning it to produce energy was assessed. Determining which type of biorefinary is the best in terms of economic performance will enable us to effectively utilize limited resources for the development of economically viable biorefineries that eventually accelerate the growth of a bio-based economy.