Superstructure-based Rigorous Simulation for Synthesis and Evaluation of Lignocellulosic Biofuels Processes

Paola Ibarra-Gonzalez, Carlo Edgar Torres-Ortega, Ben-Guang Rong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearch


In the present work, a process synthesis framework for the conversion of softwood biomass to liquid (BtL) transportation fuels was developed. We defined processing blocks out of promising thermochemical and upgrading technologies, and performed individual blocks rigorous simulations in Aspen Plus® V8.8. The simulations and experimental data taken from the literature were used to predict conversions, recovery factors, capital and energy costs of the processing blocks. From the simulations, it was found that Gasification-Low Temperature Fischer-Tropsch (LTFT) followed by fractional upgrading and fractionating units (BC-GLTUF), was the most cost-effective, in terms of total annual cost (TAC) and liquid fuels production. Then, given the preliminary results, the possibility of combining blocks between the thermochemical routes, as well as mass and energy integration were explored. A superstructure was proposed and defined as a Mixed Integer Non-Linear Programming (MINLP) problem coded in GAMS 24.5.6, which sets the objective to minimize the TAC’s of BtL fuels under different cases and integration scenarios. The results showed that a combined alternative of Gasification followed by simultaneous high and low temperature FT reactions (CA-GLTHT) could increase the liquids fuels production and product distribution from 87 % to 90 % (wt) and reduce the TAC in around 26 % if mass and energy integration are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication13th International Symposium on Process Systems Engineering (PSE 2018)
EditorsMario R. Eden, Marianthi G. Ierapetritou, Gavin P. Towler
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)9780444642417
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventProcess Systems Engineering 2018 - Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, San Diego, United States
Duration: 1. Jul 20185. Jul 2018


ConferenceProcess Systems Engineering 2018
LocationManchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Internet address
SeriesComputer Aided Chemical Engineering


  • biofuels
  • process synthesis
  • simulation
  • superstructure
  • thermochemical

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Superstructure-based Rigorous Simulation for Synthesis and Evaluation of Lignocellulosic Biofuels Processes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this