Hydrothermal Pretreatment: Process Modeling and Economic Assessment within the Framework of Biorefinery Processes

Ana Ine´s Torres, Muhammad Tahir Ashraf, Tanmay Chaturvedi, Jens Ejbye Schmidt, George Stephanopoulos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Techno-economic evaluation of processes based on hydrothermal pretreatment is needed to set the current status and to identify processing bottlenecks that need to be addressed to make these processes viable. Having suitable models to carry simulations is a prerequisite for conducting such evaluations. The goal of this chapter is to discuss different approaches that can be used to model and simulate hydrothermal pretreatment processes using commercial process simulators. A discussion on possible flowsheets, as well as different ways to model biomass and chemical reactions, is presented. Rather than simply listing the different possibilities, the focus is on the rationale behind the selection of unit operations and models and the consequences each selection has. A brief discussion on possible improvements to be made to the current state-of-the-art models is also presented. Toward the end, the chapter provides a review of different criteria and usual assumptions that are made to calculate costs of biorefinery processes, and a summary of these costs for those flowsheets has analyzed inclusion of hydrothermal pretreatment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHydrothermal Processing in Biorefineries : Production of Bioethanol and High Added-Value Compounds of Second and Third Generation Biomass
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-56456-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-56457-9
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Biorefineries
  • Process modeling
  • Economic
  • Process simulation
  • Techno-economic assessment


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