Life cycle optimization for sustainable design and operations of hydrocarbon biorefinery via fast pyrolysis, hydrotreating and hydrocracking

Berhane H. Gebreslassie, Maxim Slivinsky, Belinda Wang, Fengqi You*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

118 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper addresses the optimal design and operation of hydrocarbon biorefinery via fast pyrolysis, hydrotreating and hydrocracking of hybrid poplar feedstock under economic and environmental criteria. The hydrocarbon biorefinery encompasses fast pyrolysis for crude bio-oil production, upgrading of the bio-oil through hydrotreating, separation and hydrocracking of long chained hydrocarbons into gasoline and diesel range products, and steam reforming for hydrogen production. We propose a bi-criteria nonlinear programming (NLP) model that seeks to maximize the economic performance measured by the net present value (NPV) and to minimize the environmental impacts. The environmental objective is measured with the global warming potential (GWP) metric according to the life cycle assessment procedures, which covers gate-to-gate environmental impacts of the hydrocarbon biorefinery. The multiobjective NLP model simultaneously determines the production capacity, size of each process units, operational conditions, the flow rates of species and streams at each stage of the process, hydrocarbon biofuel yields, and consumption rate of feedstock, steam, electricity, and natural gas. The bi-criteria NLP model is solved with the e{open}-constraint method, and the resulting Pareto-optimal curve reveals the trade-off between the economic and environmental dimensions of the sustainable hydrocarbon biorefinery. The optimization results reveal that the unit production cost of the hydrocarbon biofuels is $2.31 per gallon of gasoline equivalent (GGE) for the maximum NPV solution and $3.67/GGE for the minimum GWP design. The corresponding greenhouse emission is 8.07kgCO2-eq/GGE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-91
Number of pages21
JournalComputers and Chemical Engineering
Volume50
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 5 2013

Keywords

  • Fast pyrolysis
  • Hydrocarbon biofuels
  • Hydroprocessing
  • LCA
  • NLP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Computer Science Applications

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