Design of Circular Economy Plants – The Case of the Textile Waste Biorefinery
Barla, F., Nikolakopoulos, A., Kokossis, A.
Computer Aided Chemical Engineering, 40, pp. 1933-1938, 2017
Circular Economy; Textile Biorefinery; Process Design; Industrial Symbiosis
An integrated and multi-level approach of established and original Process Systems Engineering technologies to a new problem arising within the Circular Economy concept is presented. This is the design of the Textile Refinery; a new biorefinery type that uses waste textiles as feedstock to produce raw materials for chemical industry. Through the work, it is achieved to close the circle of the chemically or naturally derived feedstock fibres economy, aiming to provide a holistic response to the largely overlooked waste textile management problem. The proposed solutions promote and are reinforced by the concept of Industrial Symbiosis, which enables synergies and provides with sustainability characteristics the whole approach. New as well as conventional process synthesis, process modelling and process integration techniques are implemented to steepen the learning curve for the design problem, while economic evaluation reveals weak points to be confronted in the iterative process design procedure. Solutions are currently tested at pilot scale and improved through a feedback loop, while scale-up technologies are in place to industrialize the complete process.