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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Mass and Heat Integration in Ethanol Production Mills for Enhanced Process Efficiency and Exergy-Based Renewability Performance

1
School of Chemical Engineering, Laboratory of Optimization, Design and Advanced Process Control-LOPCA, University of Campinas, Campinas 13083-852, Brazil
2
Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology, 2629 HZ Delft, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2019, 7(10), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7100670
Received: 30 June 2019 / Revised: 16 September 2019 / Accepted: 20 September 2019 / Published: 27 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy Systems, Material Management, and Sustainability)
This paper presents the process design and assessment of a sugarcane-based ethanol production system that combines the usage of both mass and heat integration (pinch analysis) strategies to enhance the process efficiency and renewability performance. Three configurations were analyzed: (i) Base case: traditional ethanol production (1G); (ii) mass-integrated (1G2G); and (iii) mass and heat-integrated system (1G2G-HI). The overall assessment of these systems was based on complementary approaches such as mass and mass–heat integration, energy and exergy analysis, exergy-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and renewability exergy criteria. The performances of the three cases were assessed through five key performance indicators (KIPs) divided into two groups: one is related to process performance, namely, energy efficiency, exergy efficiency, and average unitary exergy cost (AUEC), and the other one is associated to environmental performance i.e., exergy-based CO2-equation emissions and renewability exergy index. Results showed a higher exergy efficiency of 50% and the lowest AUEC of all the systems (1.61 kJ/kJ) for 1G2G-HI. Furthermore, the destroyed exergy in 1G2G-HI was lower by 7% and 9% in comparison to the 1G and 1G2G cases, respectively. Regarding the exergy-based GHG emissions and renewability performance (λindex), the 1G2G-HI case presented the lowest impacts in terms of the CO2-equivalent emissions (94.10 gCO2-eq/MJ products), while λindex was found to be environmentally unfavorable (λ = 0.77). However, λindex became favorable (λ > 1) when the useful exergy of the byproducts was considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: exergy analysis; lignocellulosic ethanol; integrated first- and second-generation ethanol; heat integration; renewability exergy index exergy analysis; lignocellulosic ethanol; integrated first- and second-generation ethanol; heat integration; renewability exergy index
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MDPI and ACS Style

Silva Ortiz, P.A.; Maciel Filho, R.; Posada, J. Mass and Heat Integration in Ethanol Production Mills for Enhanced Process Efficiency and Exergy-Based Renewability Performance. Processes 2019, 7, 670.

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