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A Systems Platform for Evaluating Biomass-Based Production of Chemicals.

Tsakalova, Marinella. (2011) A Systems Platform for Evaluating Biomass-Based Production of Chemicals. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Motivated by the need for sustainable solutions and general uncertainties in oil prices and energy supplies, industry and academia have been experiencing a steady growth in the development of biorefining. The basic idea in this area is the development of new industries that are based on renewable resources which supply the products and services to replace those from the current industries. The goal of this thesis is to develop a sound systems methodology, materializing in a computer modelling platform, for identifying the most promising business opportunities for the industrial organizations committed to the rational utilization of renewable feedstocks. In the course of pursuing this goal and working within the scope of a joint research project, this study has focused on the development of the overall methodology, strategies for modelling, conceptual design of the systems platform, as well as the implementation and testing of the platform. Reflecting the industrial interests within the joint project, the target chemicals are methanol, ethanol, butanol, ethylene, propylene glycol, acetone, and ammonia. A broad range of biomass processing technologies are considered, including both bio/chemical routes such as fermentation, anaerobic digestion, and transesterification, and thermochemical routes such as gasification. These biomass processing routes are combined with conventional petrochemical technologies such as chemical synthesis, conversion and reforming. The resulting modelling platform allows the user to compose and evaluate production routes defined by connecting individual processing steps. The evaluation is performed on multiple aspects, including productivity, economics, energy consumption, and CO2 emission. Ethylene and propylene glycol case studies are reported to illustrate the application of the tool. The results show that for the ethylene production corn stover and wood can be used as feedstock but the most promising route is the one via syngas and ethanol production coming from direct gasification of wood. Accordingly from the results it comes that the production propylene glycol is only economically viable through plant oil transesterification and utilization of its by-product glycerol. By testing the platform in different case studies it has been shown that the platform has the potential to suppor the evaluation and screening of processing options for the production of chemicals based on biomass feedstock.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Tsakalova, Marinella.
Date : 2011
Additional Information : Thesis (M.Phil.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2011.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 14 May 2020 14:56
Last Modified : 14 May 2020 15:03

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