(133b) Software for Synthesizing Complete Set of Pareto Efficient Designs of Energy Supply Chains According to Cost, Ecological Footprint, and Emergy
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - 2:05pm to 2:35pm
Methodology and computer aid are proposed for designing sustainable supply chains in terms of sustainability metrics by utilizing the P-graph framework. The methodology is an outcome of the collaboration between the Office of Research and Development (ORD) of the U.S. EPA and the research group led by the creators of the P-graph framework at the University of Pannonia. The integration of supply chain design and sustainability is the main focus of this collaboration. A recent extension to the P-graph framework provides a mathematically rigorous procedure for synthesizing the complete set of Pareto optimal networks subject to multiple objectives and constraints, which include profitability and sustainability in the proposed methodology. Specifically, to evaluate the sustainability of a given process under construction including its supply chain, sustainability metrics are incorporated into the design procedure.
The proposed methodology and the software are demonstrated with the optimal design of a supply chain for providing heat and electric power to an agricultural region with relatively limited land area where agricultural wastes can potentially be recovered as renewable resources. Possible sources of heat and electricity included electricity from the Hungarian grid, and heat and electricity generated from natural gas, corn, corn silage, grass silage, or wood or some combination of these sources. Each supply chain was ranked according to cost, and assessed environmental impacts using the ecological footprint (representing land use burden), and emergy (representing energy resource burden). Decisively feasible supply chains were found with cost variations of +2% to -17% compared to “business as usual” scenarios, i.e., using only natural gas and electricity from the Hungarian grid. For these supply chains, the sustainability profile as represented by the ecological footprint varied from +8% to -78%, and the emergy results ranged from -54% to -93%. Most importantly, it appeared feasibly possible to design supply chains for heat and electricity generation which were both cheaper and more sustainable than the supply chain currently in use.
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