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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/19774

Title: A techno-economic assessment of an algal-based biorefinery
Authors: Thomassen, Gwenny
Egiguren Vila, Urko
Van Dael, Miet
Lemmens, Bert
Van Passel, Steven
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: 10th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems (SDEWES), Dubrovnik - Croatia, 27/09/2015 - 02/10/2015
Abstract: Microalgae are a promising feedstock for the biobased economy. Technological research has primarily focused on the use of microalgae for biofuel production. However, economic assessments have identified difficulties for its commercialization. To overcome these problems, a multi-product algal-based biorefinery has been proposed that produces energy-products and/or materials and/or chemicals. This paper performs a techno-economic assessment of a biorefinery producing high-value added products from a Dunaliella salina or Haematococcus pluvialis feedstock. Different production pathways, ranging from a base case with commercially available technologies to an improved case with innovative technologies, are analyzed. The techno-economic assessment integrates technological parameters in an economic assessment. The integrated assessment exists of four steps, being (1) a market study to examine the market potential of this new technology, (2) the design of a process flow chart and mass and energy balances in correspondence with technological research, (3) the economic assessment by means of the calculation of investment criteria like the net present value and the internal rate of return and (4) a sensitivity assessment. This sensitivity analysis assesses the impact of varying process parameters on the economic output parameters. Critical parameters which should be enhanced for an increased economic profitability are identified. The techno-economic assessment enables a comparison between the different scenarios and the identification of an optimal pathway. This can guide further improvements in algal research and shorten the time-to-market for innovative technologies in this field.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/19774
Category: C2
Type: Conference Material
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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