Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Economic and Environmental Feasibility: Waste Dairy to Biofuel via Hydrothermal Liquefaction

Class

Article

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Faculty Mentor

Jason Quinn

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

The sustainability, scalability and economic feasibility of alternative fuel systems must be evaluated to understand the industrial-scale impact of new technologies and production pathways. Current investigation is underway for an innovative pathway that integrates agricultural waste, delactosed whey permeate (delac), with yeast fermentation for the generation of biofuel via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). Upgrading delac to biofuel through HTL has been demonstrated at laboratory-scale through yeast fermentation. However, industrial-scale economic and environmental feasibility of this process are yet to be quantified. Systems engineering process models were developed concurrently with biological experimentation to facilitate data feedback from modeling work and streamline further experimentation. Integrating process models, validated with experimental results, enabled techno-economic assessment (TEA) and life cycle assessments (LCA) of various large-scale conversion pathways. Results show a minimum fuel selling point of $4.86 per gallon of biofuel and a net energy ratio (NER), defined as energy required to process biofuel divided by energy withheld in the biofuel produced, of 1.44. Ongoing efforts are focused on the optimization of the process, in terms of TEA and LCA, such that research can focus on the demonstration of a commercially feasible pathway for the conversion of delac to biofuel.

Start Date

4-9-2015 12:00 PM

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Apr 9th, 12:00 PM

Economic and Environmental Feasibility: Waste Dairy to Biofuel via Hydrothermal Liquefaction

The sustainability, scalability and economic feasibility of alternative fuel systems must be evaluated to understand the industrial-scale impact of new technologies and production pathways. Current investigation is underway for an innovative pathway that integrates agricultural waste, delactosed whey permeate (delac), with yeast fermentation for the generation of biofuel via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). Upgrading delac to biofuel through HTL has been demonstrated at laboratory-scale through yeast fermentation. However, industrial-scale economic and environmental feasibility of this process are yet to be quantified. Systems engineering process models were developed concurrently with biological experimentation to facilitate data feedback from modeling work and streamline further experimentation. Integrating process models, validated with experimental results, enabled techno-economic assessment (TEA) and life cycle assessments (LCA) of various large-scale conversion pathways. Results show a minimum fuel selling point of $4.86 per gallon of biofuel and a net energy ratio (NER), defined as energy required to process biofuel divided by energy withheld in the biofuel produced, of 1.44. Ongoing efforts are focused on the optimization of the process, in terms of TEA and LCA, such that research can focus on the demonstration of a commercially feasible pathway for the conversion of delac to biofuel.