Preliminary conceptual process design models and evaluation of selected integral value chains

Elke Breitmayer, WP6 Leader, Nova Institute

The overall goal of this work package is the implementation of a techno-economic and sustainability assessment of a multi-product integrated biorefinery for microalgae. Over the past months we have developed the preliminary design of a process model of an integrated multi-product biorefinery and performed an initial evaluation of the integral value chain. 

The selection of value chains for different algae biorefinery cases should be supported by preliminary results from economic evaluations, as well as preliminary results from life cycle and socio-economic assessments. The preliminary modelling is currently in progress. The first results on mass and energy balances will be available at the end of June, 2015. Using general value chains as a starting point, the MIRACLES project will focus on a selected number of value chains




Figure 1 - Processing units studied and applied by MIRACLES partners under experimental and pilot conditions

The main results achieved so far are the design of three preliminary conceptual process design models and the evaluation of selected integral value chains. In addition, the environmental and socio-economic assessment has commenced. The production system of partner Fitoplancton Marino has been selected as a benchmark for environmental impacts associated with the cultivation and harvesting of microalgae. Preliminary results on the material and energy flows as well as associated environmental impacts on the categories for climate change and non-renewable energy consumption are available. Furthermore, several approaches for the techno-economic assessment have been analysed to identify the existing methods and determine which aspects apply to the MIRACLES project.

The figure below gives an overview of the processing units studied by MIRACLES partners under experimental and pilot conditions.

We expect the results of the first mass and energy balances as well as economic, ecological and social sustainability indicators on short notice. The results will be updated and refined in parallel to the overall progress of the MIRACLES project and will serve as a guideline for the R&D activities in the project.

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