Special Issue "Process Simulation and Techno-Economic Analysis of Food and Bioproducts Processing Systems"

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Processes".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Vijay Singh
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
Interests: The development of bioprocessing technologies for corn/biomass to ethanol, advanced biofuels, food and industrial products. Dr. Singh recent research activities are at the nexus of plant biotechnology and bioprocessing and are leading the development of new technologies and renewable products in the industrial biotech space. In his role as a Director of Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory at IBRL, Dr. Singh provides leadership in developing industrial partnerships, bioprocess pilot-scale proof-of-concept activities and techno-economic analyses to facilitate commercialization of innovative technologies.
Dr. Deepak Kumar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Engineering, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA
Interests: Novel technologies development, process optimization and sustainability analysis of production of biofuel and biomaterials from starchy and lignocellulosic feedstocks using combined experimental and modeling approaches.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Meeting the increasing global demand of biobased food, products, and energy requires the development of advanced agricultural, food, and bioprocessing systems. For long-term sustainability and to commercialize these innovative technologies, these systems require comprehensive analyses of technological, material, and energy inputs and outputs to determine technical feasibility and economic competitiveness on a commercial scale. This Special Issue on “Process Simulation and Techno-Economic Analysis of Food and Bioproducts Processing Systems“ invites high-quality research studies dealing with techno-economic feasibility analysis using process modeling of agricultural and bioenergy systems, including the production of bio-feedstocks, biofuels, bio-products, food products, and animal feed. Critical review manuscripts related to techno-economic analysis methodologies and assumptions affecting the results are also welcomed. Topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Agricultural production systems;
  • Biochemical processes for energy, fuels, polymers, and fine chemicals production from renewable feedstocks;
  • Thermochemical conversion of biomass to fuels, intermediate products, and/or chemicals;
  • Novel food processing technologies;
  • Grain processing technologies for food, feed, and fuel production.

Prof. Vijay Singh
Dr. Deepak Kumar
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Processes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Techno-economic analysis
  • Biofuels
  • Bioproducts
  • Food processing
  • Economic feasibility
  • Corn processing
  • Biomass pretreatment
  • Minimum selling price.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
An Environmental and Economic Analysis of Flocculation Technology Applied to a Corn-Based Ethanol Plant
Processes 2020, 8(3), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8030271 - 27 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1139
Abstract
The stimulation of renewable fuel production is related to the environmental issues resulting from the extraction and utilization of fossil fuels. Although corn-based ethanol is one of the leading renewable fuels and promises to mitigate these environmental impacts, it generates large volumes of [...] Read more.
The stimulation of renewable fuel production is related to the environmental issues resulting from the extraction and utilization of fossil fuels. Although corn-based ethanol is one of the leading renewable fuels and promises to mitigate these environmental impacts, it generates large volumes of wastewater with high concentrations of organic material (CODcr > 30,000 mg/L) and low pH (3.5–4.5), which leads to serious environmental concerns. A common method of treatment of distillery wastewater is the Dry Distilled Grain Soluble (DDGS) process, which separates liquid and solid fractions; however, a disadvantage of this process is its high energy consumption. Other commonly implemented methods are often costly and not environmentally safe. To minimize these problems, a flocculation process can be applied as a potential lower energy consumption process utilizing bioflocculants, which have been proven harmless to the environment. Therefore, the main goal of this study was to analyze the economic and environmental impacts of using bioflocculants instead of evaporation process in a corn-based ethanol plant. The procedures were evaluated by analyzing the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Techno-Economic Analysis (TEA). From the results, it can be seen that the flocculation system can be an alternative process for effectively minimizing energy consumption during the production of DDGS, Distilled Wet Grains with Solubles (DWGS), and corn oil. The flocculation process achieved a significantly (28%) lower utility cost when compared to the conventional system. However, the overall fixed costs and annual operating costs for the flocculation system were higher than those of the conventional system. Additionally, both processes resulted in negative profit and a sensitivity analysis showed that the feedstocks cost substantially impacted the DDGS, DWGS, and corn oil production costs. Related to environmental aspects, the LCA results showed that the flocculation process achieved the lowest Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the several electricity supply technologies analyzed and presented a significant reduction in CO2 equivalent emissions when compared to a conventional system. The flocculation process resulted in approximately 57% lower greenhouse gas emissions. Full article
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Article
A Technoeconomic Platform for Early-Stage Process Design and Cost Estimation of Joint Fermentative‒Catalytic Bioprocessing
Processes 2020, 8(2), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8020229 - 16 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1548
Abstract
Technoeconomic analyses using established tools such as SuperPro Designer® require a level of detail that is typically unavailable at the early stage of process evaluation. To facilitate this, members of our group previously created a spreadsheet-based process modeling and technoeconomic platform explicitly [...] Read more.
Technoeconomic analyses using established tools such as SuperPro Designer® require a level of detail that is typically unavailable at the early stage of process evaluation. To facilitate this, members of our group previously created a spreadsheet-based process modeling and technoeconomic platform explicitly aimed at joint fermentative‒catalytic biorefinery processes. In this work, we detail the reorganization and expansion of this model—ESTEA2 (Early State Technoeconomic Analysis, version 2), including detailed design and cost calculations for new unit operations. Furthermore, we describe ESTEA2 validation using ethanol and sorbic acid process. The results were compared with estimates from the literature, SuperPro Designer® (Version 8.5, Intelligen Inc., Scotch Plains, NJ, 2013), and other third-party process models. ESTEA2 can perform a technoeconomic analysis for a joint fermentative‒catalytic process with just 12 user-supplied inputs, which, when modeled in SuperPro Designer®, required approximately eight additional inputs such as equipment design configurations. With a reduced amount of user information, ESTEA2 provides results similar to those in the literature, and more sophisticated models (ca. 7%–11% different). Full article
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Article
Techno-Economic Analysis of Bio-Based Lactic Acid Production Utilizing Corn Grain as Feedstock
Processes 2020, 8(2), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8020199 - 06 Feb 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2973
Abstract
Lactic acid is an important chemical with numerous commercial applications that can be fermentatively produced from biological feedstocks. Producing lactic acid from corn grain could complement the use of already existing infrastructure for corn grain-based ethanol production with a higher value product. The [...] Read more.
Lactic acid is an important chemical with numerous commercial applications that can be fermentatively produced from biological feedstocks. Producing lactic acid from corn grain could complement the use of already existing infrastructure for corn grain-based ethanol production with a higher value product. The objective of this study was to evaluate the techno-economic feasibility of producing 100,000 metric tons (t) of lactic acid annually from corn grain in a biorefinery. The study estimated the resources (equipment, raw materials, energy, and labor) requirements and costs to produce lactic acid from bacteria, fungi and yeast-based fermentation pathways. Lactic acid production costs were $1181, $1251 and $844, for bacteria, fungi and yeast, respectively. Genetically engineered yeast strains capable of producing lactic acid at low pH support significantly cheaper processes because they do not require simultaneous neutralization and recovery of lactic acid, resulting in lower requirements for chemical, equipment, and utilities. Lactic acid production costs were highly sensitive to sugar-to-lactic-acid conversion rates, grain price, plant size, annual operation hours, and potential use of gypsum. Improvements in process efficiencies and lower equipment and chemical costs would further reduce the cost of lactic acid production from corn grain. Full article
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Article
Techno-Economic Implications of Fed-Batch Enzymatic Hydrolysis
Processes 2019, 7(11), 847; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7110847 - 12 Nov 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1138
Abstract
Fed-batch enzymatic hydrolysis has the potential to improve the overall process of converting cellulosic biomass into ethanol. This paper utilizes a process simulation approach to identify and quantify techno-economic differences between batch and fed-batch enzymatic hydrolysis in cellulosic ethanol production. The entire process [...] Read more.
Fed-batch enzymatic hydrolysis has the potential to improve the overall process of converting cellulosic biomass into ethanol. This paper utilizes a process simulation approach to identify and quantify techno-economic differences between batch and fed-batch enzymatic hydrolysis in cellulosic ethanol production. The entire process of converting corn stover into ethanol was simulated using SuperPro Designer simulation software. The analysis was conducted for a plant capacity of 2000 metric tons of dry biomass per day. A literature review was used to identify baseline parameters for the process. The sensitivity of the ethanol production cost to changes in sugar conversion efficiency, plant capacity, biomass cost, power cost, labor cost, and enzyme cost was evaluated using the process simulation. For the base scenario, the ethanol unit production cost was approximately $0.10/gallon lower for fed-batch hydrolysis. The greatest differences were seen in facilities costs, labor costs, and capital costs. Using a fed-batch operation decreased facilities costs by 41%, labor costs by 21%, and capital costs by 15%. The sensitivity analysis found that cost of biomass had the greatest effect on ethanol production cost, and in general, the results support the proposition that fed-batch enzymatic hydrolysis does improve the techno-economics of cellulosic ethanol production. Full article
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Article
Economic Analysis of Cellulosic Ethanol Production from Sugarcane Bagasse Using a Sequential Deacetylation, Hot Water and Disk-Refining Pretreatment
Processes 2019, 7(10), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7100642 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1646
Abstract
A new process for conversion of sugarcane bagasse to ethanol was analyzed for production costs and energy consumption using experimental results. The process includes a sequential three-stage deacetylation, hot water, and disk-refining pretreatment and a commercial glucose-xylose fermenting S. cerevisiae strain. The simultaneous [...] Read more.
A new process for conversion of sugarcane bagasse to ethanol was analyzed for production costs and energy consumption using experimental results. The process includes a sequential three-stage deacetylation, hot water, and disk-refining pretreatment and a commercial glucose-xylose fermenting S. cerevisiae strain. The simultaneous saccharification and co-fermentation (SScF) step used was investigated at two solids loadings: 10% and 16% w/w. Additionally, a sensitivity analysis was conducted for the major operating parameters. The minimum ethanol selling price (MESP) varied between $4.91and $4.52/gal ethanol. The higher SScF solids loading (16%) reduced the total operating, utilities, and production costs by 9.5%, 15.6%, and 5.6%, respectively. Other important factors in determining selling price were costs for fermentation medium and enzymes (e.g., cellulases). Hence, these findings support operating at high solids and producing enzymes onsite as strategies to minimize MESP. Full article
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Article
Impact of Fractionation Process on the Technical and Economic Viability of Corn Dry Grind Ethanol Process
Processes 2019, 7(9), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7090578 - 01 Sep 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1667
Abstract
Use of corn fractionation techniques in dry grind process increases the number of coproducts, enhances their quality and value, generates feedstock for cellulosic ethanol production and potentially increases profitability of the dry grind process. The aim of this study is to develop process [...] Read more.
Use of corn fractionation techniques in dry grind process increases the number of coproducts, enhances their quality and value, generates feedstock for cellulosic ethanol production and potentially increases profitability of the dry grind process. The aim of this study is to develop process simulation models for eight different wet and dry corn fractionation techniques recovering germ, pericarp fiber and/or endosperm fiber, and evaluate their techno-economic feasibility at the commercial scale. Ethanol yields for plants processing 1113.11 MT corn/day were 37.2 to 40 million gal for wet fractionation and 37.3 to 31.3 million gal for dry fractionation, compared to 40.2 million gal for conventional dry grind process. Capital costs were higher for wet fractionation processes ($92.85 to $97.38 million) in comparison to conventional ($83.95 million) and dry fractionation ($83.35 to $84.91 million) processes. Due to high value of coproducts, ethanol production costs in most fractionation processes ($1.29 to $1.35/gal) were lower than conventional ($1.36/gal) process. Internal rate of return for most of the wet (6.88 to 8.58%) and dry fractionation (6.45 to 7.04%) processes was higher than the conventional (6.39%) process. Wet fractionation process designed for germ and pericarp fiber recovery was most profitable among the processes. Full article
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