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Atkins, M. J., Walmsley, T. G., Ong, B. H. Y., Walmsley, M. R. W., & Neale, J. R. (2016). Application of P-graph techniques for efficient use of wood processing residues in biorefineries. Chemical Engineering Transactions, 52, 499–504. https://doi.org/10.3303/CET1652084
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/10859
It is anticipated that demand for chemicals and fuel derived from sustainably grown bio-mass will increase over the coming decades. Forest and wood processing residues and waste are likely to become a significant feedstock to large scale biorefineries to produce both renewable fuels and chemicals. Maximising the economic value of these residues whilst simultaneously minimising the environmental impact of the manufactured product is an important task in process and product selection and design. Multiple processing and product pathways exist and it is often unclear what the best options are without detailed assessment or preliminary design. The P-graph framework was used to examine the economically feasibility of utilising five types of wood processing residues: wood chip, pulp logs, saw dust, and landing and cutover residues. Twenty different products were considered, based on three main production platforms or routes, sugars, pyrolysis, and gasification. Kraft pulp production and energy products were also considered as viable options for residues. Only six of the products considered were found to be profitable with the most economically viable uses being kraft pulp production and boiler fuel. Products included in the feasible solutions and the source of residues are all finely balanced, and slight changes in feedstock cost, product price, and operational and capital costs can cause major changes to the feasible structures. When heat integration for using Total Site was incorporated into the P-graph there was no economic benefit for the routes and scale of production considered here.
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