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Integrating Genome-Scale and Superstructure Optimization Models in Techno-Economic Studies of Biorefineries

Process Systems Engineering Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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Processes 2019, 7(5), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7050286
Received: 24 March 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biorefinery Processes)
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Abstract

Genome-scale models have become indispensable tools for the study of cellular growth. These models have been progressively improving over the past two decades, enabling accurate predictions of metabolic fluxes and key phenotypes under a variety of growth conditions. In this work, an efficient computational method is proposed to incorporate genome-scale models into superstructure optimization settings, introducing them as viable growth models to simulate the cultivation section of biorefinaries. We perform techno-economic and life-cycle analyses of an algal biorefinery with five processing sections to determine optimal processing pathways and technologies. Formulation of this problem results in a mixed-integer nonlinear program, in which the net present value is maximized with respect to mass flowrates and design parameters. We use a genome-scale metabolic model of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to predict growth rates in the cultivation section. We study algae cultivation in open ponds, in which exchange fluxes of biomass and carbon dioxide are directly determined by the metabolic model. This formulation enables the coupling of flowrates and design parameters, leading to more accurate cultivation productivity estimates with respect to substrate concentration and light intensity. View Full-Text
Keywords: algal biorefinery; techno-economic analysis; life-cycle analysis; superstructure optimization; genome-scale models; disjunctive programming; mixed-integer nonlinear programming algal biorefinery; techno-economic analysis; life-cycle analysis; superstructure optimization; genome-scale models; disjunctive programming; mixed-integer nonlinear programming
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Akbari, A.; Barton, P.I. Integrating Genome-Scale and Superstructure Optimization Models in Techno-Economic Studies of Biorefineries. Processes 2019, 7, 286.

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