On the re-deployment of lignocellulosic biorefineries with solvent-free designs and process-to-process integration
I. Sarris, K. Pyrgakis, A. Kokossis
Computer Aided Chemical Engineering Volume 52,pp 2569-2574, 2023
biorefinery; delignification; bioethanol; techno-economic; energy integration
This work follows a systems engineering approach to re-deploy a real-life lignocellulosic biorefinery for lower operating and capital costs, featuring benefits as solvent demands are reduced, and a better scope to integrate with first generation biorefineries. The redeployment focused on hot spots with high materials and energy use that affect cost-effective production of pulp, lignin, and bio-based products. The collaborative work investigates alternative designs for process, feedstocks and products portfolio and combines process-to-process integration to ensure optimal valorization of materials and energy. The reference real-life biorefinery case is modeled in ASPEN and involves high volumes of solvents for delignification, so re-deployment addressed a delignification-free case with parallel integration of downstream ethanol fermentation resulting in 22.5% lignin and 26% ethanol yields. The revised mass and energy balances of alternative scenarios were estimated and new insights for CAPEX (€ 39.6M), OPEX (€ 212M/yr) and energy costs (74% lower hot utilities) are obtained.