Sustainable design and synthesis of hydrocarbon biorefinery via gasification pathway: Integrated life cycle assessment and technoeconomic analysis with multiobjective superstructure optimization

Belinda Wang, Berhane H. Gebreslassie, Fengqi You*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper proposes a multiobjective, mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) model for the superstructure optimization of hydrocarbon biorefineries via gasification pathway under economic and environmental criteria. The proposed hydrocarbon biorefinery superstructure includes a number of major processing stages, such as drying of the cellulosic biomass feedstocks, air separation unit, gasification, syngas conditioning, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, hydroprocessing, power generation, and the diesel and gasoline production. The superstructure considers alternatives of technologies and equipment, such as gasification technologies, cooling options, hydrogen production sources, and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis catalysts. The economic objective is measured by the net present value (NPV), and the environmental concern is measured using global warming potential (GWP) that follows the life cycle assessment procedures, which evaluates the gate-to-gate environmental impacts of hydrocarbon biofuels. The multiobjective MINLP model simultaneously determines the technology selection, operation conditions, flow rate of each stream, energy consumption of each unit, economic performance, environmental impacts, and equipment sizes. The multiobjective MINLP problem is solved with the e{open}-constraint method. The resulting Pareto-optimal curve reveals the trade-off between the economic and environmental performances. The optimal solution reveals that the high-temperature gasification, direct cooling, internal hydrogen production and cobalt catalysis have the best environmental and economic performances. At the breakeven point, where the optimal NPV is 0, the unit production cost of hydrocarbon biorefinery is $4.43 per gasoline-equivalent gallon (GEG) with unit GWP of 20.92kg CO2 eqv./GEG. In the case of maximum NPV of $810 MM, the corresponding unit production cost is $3.17/GEG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-76
Number of pages22
JournalComputers and Chemical Engineering
Volume52
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

Keywords

  • Fischer-Tropsch
  • Gasification
  • LCA
  • MINLP
  • Multiobjective optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Computer Science Applications

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