Techno-economic Evaluation of an Integrated Microalga Biorefinery Targeting the Co-production of Specialty Chemicals
Psycha M., Kokossis A.
Computer Aided Chemical Engineering, 40, pp. 1981-1986,2017
microalgae; biorefineries; high-value chemicals; economic assessment; process design
The paper addresses the design of a microalga biorefinery coping with the challenges of process synthesis and product selection. It capitalizes on a developed methodology to design a multi-product plant of 1 kt/y in biomass productivity with an extensive product portfolio focusing on high value chemicals. The designed biorefinery is further studied as to its economic sustainability by assessing the total investment and calculating the cumulative cash flows throughout the life of the project. The results of this study are very promising, since the pay-off time is less than two years. The picture of costs allocation between the typical chemical industry and microalgae biorefineries changes profoundly indicating the need for a revised approach to design such plants.