Techno-economic performance of different technological based bio-refineries for biofuel production
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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There are different technologies for biodiesel production, each having its benefits and drawbacks depending on the type of feedstock and catalyst used. In this study, the techno-economic performances of four catalyst technologies were investigated. The catalysts were bulk calcium oxide (CaO), enzyme, nano-calcium oxide, and ionic liquid. The study was mainly based on process simulations designed using Aspen Plus and SuperPro software. The quantity and quality of biodiesel and glycerol, as well as the amount of biodiesel per amount of feedstock, were the parameters to evaluate technical performances. The parameters for economic performances were total investment cost, unit production cost, net present value (NPV), internal return rate (IRR), and return over investment (ROI). Technically, all the studied options provided fuel quality biodiesel and high purity glycerol. However, under the assumed market scenario, the process using bulk CaO catalyst was more economically feasible and tolerable to the change in market values of major inputs and outputs. On the contrary, the enzyme catalyst option was very expensive and economically infeasible for all considered ranges of cost of feedstock and product. The result of this study could be used as a basis to do detail estimates for the practical implementation of the efficient process.