Chemical Engineering Research & Design, Vol.107, 195-217, 2016
Bi-dimensional sustainability analysis of a multi-feed biorefinery design for biofuels co-production from lignocellulosic residues and agro-industrial wastes
This paper presents a multi-feed biorefinery design (MPB10) as a solution for producing bioethanol from lignocellulosic residues and simultaneously treating agro-industrial wastes (cheese whey and tequila vinasses). MPB10 exhibits a higher process complexity than simpler conventional lignocellulosic biofuel biorefineries. However, the design increases the overall energy productivity and achieves similar environmental and economic sustainability values than a single-feedstock biorefinery producing lignocellulosic ethanol and electricity (SPB). According to the bi-dimensional sustainability method employed in this work, the most important sustainability indicators were the End-use Energy Ratio (EER) for the environmental domain and Yield together with Total Production Cost (TPC) per energy unit produced for the economic domain. MPB10 scored 6% and 18% higher values for the first two indicators than its SPB counterpart with the added benefit of solving a severe environmental pollution problem. Nevertheless, MPB10 TPC per energy-unit and per litre of bioethanol are 6% and 30% higher than SPB, respectively. (C) 2015 The Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.