Category Archives: Advances in Biorefineries

Conclusion and future trends

Given the widespread distribution of bio-feedstocks such as dedicated non­food crops or food supply chain residues, the development of small localized biorefineries compared to traditional mega-scale refineries is attractive. This will ensure that biomass is valorized as closely as possible to its production site, avoiding high transport costs for lower value feedstocks and increasing the sustainability of the process, as […]

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Market establishment: national/regional facilities

Biomass supply chains span from local collection efforts to international networks. National and regional biorefineries can thus be classified by the extent of their supply networks and product distribution. Most biorefineries are small-scale, regional facilities that collect feedstock from within a state or region. On the other hand, large-scale, national biorefineries would transport biomass across state borders to meet demand.

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Green chemistry

Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances (Anastas et al., 2000). The concept emerged 20 years ago with the introduction by Paul T. Anastas and J. C. Warner of the 12 principles of green chemistry (see Table 1.1). The subject continues to develop strongly around these […]

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Life cycle assessment (LCA) for biorefineries

The assessment of biorefineries generally encounters as a difficulty, that so far there is no unified classification system. The most widely quoted definition of ‘biorefinery’ has been published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) Task 42. ‘Biorefinery is sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of marketable products (food, feed, materials, and chemicals) and energy (fuels, power, heat).’ In the […]

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. Biomass logistics and transport infrastructure

Biomass is a diffuse resource that requires significant investment to collect and transport to a biorefinery. There are numerous studies on biomass logistics. Recent developments in geographic information systems (GIS) and operations research (OR) allow for increasing level of detail in logistic studies. In general, logistic studies attempt to estimate the costs for biomass collection, storage, and transportation.

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Drivers for change

Our society faces a new challenge: as the current consumption model dominated by market demand is running out of breath, our society needs to adopt a more realistic and sustainable model based on the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources in order to sustain emerging economies at the standard established in the West over the last century.

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LCA results for biofuels

Given the current policy interest in biofuels, a large number of studies are available. The term biofuels denotes plant oils, biodiesel, bioethanol and biogas. Generally, LCA studies compare biofuels with the respective petrochemical fuels, which are gasoline, diesel and natural gas. An additional interest is to compare different biofuels, which are specified as so-called feedstock-technology combinations, i. e. process chains […]

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Biorefinery economic assessment

Economic assessments are becoming important in the analysis of biorefinery concepts (Wright and Brown, 2011). This is due in part to the lack of commercial experience in establishing novel technologies that can convert alternative feedstock into products not commonly derived from renewable sources. Another factor is the recent volatility in oil prices yielding to the possibility of long-term financial viability […]

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