An activated carbon manufacturing process from winemaking waste is analyzed. In that way, vine shoots conversion is studied as a basis for plant designing, and mass and energy balances of hydrothermal carbonization and physical activation are fulfilled. To develop an energy-integrated plant, a network of heat exchangers is allocated to recover heat waste, and a cogeneration cycle is designed to provide electricity and remaining heat process demands. Furthermore, thermoeconomic analysis is applied to determine the thermodynamic efficiency and the economic viability of the plant. Energy balance indicates that heat exchangers energy integration covers 48.9% of the overall demands by crossing hot and cold streams and recovering heat from residual flue gas. On the other hand, the exergy costs analysis identifies combustion of pruning wood as the main source of exergy destruction, confirming the suitability of the integration to improve the thermodynamic performance. Attending to economic costs analysis, production scale and vineyard pruning wood price are identified as a critical parameter on process profitability. With a scale of 2.5 ton/h of pruning wood carbonization, a break-event point to compete with activated carbons from biomass origin is reached. Nevertheless, cost of pruning wood is identified as another important economic parameter, pointing out the suitability of wet methods such as hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) to treat them as received form the harvest and to contribute to cutting down its prices.
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