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Uncertainty and influence of input parameters and assumptions on the design and analysis of thermochemical waste conversion processes: A stochastic approach
Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för ekonomi, samhälle och teknik, Framtidens energi.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-4932-7368
Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för ekonomi, samhälle och teknik, Framtidens energi.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-3485-5440
Mälardalens högskola, Akademin för ekonomi, samhälle och teknik, Framtidens energi. School of Chemical Science and Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID-id: 0000-0003-0300-0762
2020 (engelsk)Inngår i: Energy Conversion and Management, ISSN 0196-8904, E-ISSN 1879-2227, Vol. 214, artikkel-id 112867Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Process design is a challenging task for researchers and engineers. Incomplete information and variation in input data affect the outputs and reliability of key performance indicators (KPIs) of the designed process. The efficient utilization of waste is becoming increasingly important, and researchers use simulation and modelling tools for design and assessment of waste conversion processes. The complex nature of modelling of waste conversion processes and uncertainty of technical and financial data result in substantial variation in the KPIs of the designed process. In this study, we identified the critical parameters and assumptions that cause uncertainty in the process design analysis of waste-to-biofuels conversions. We used a stochastic modelling approach to address these methodological challenges and performed Monte Carlo simulations on waste-to-biofuel processes. The identified uncertain parameters and inputs were varied for a whole year with a one-minute time step. Different thermochemical conversion pathways were modelled by varying uncertain inputs and assumptions over the year by applying Monte Carlo simulations. Variations in the system's technical and economic KPIs were observed and compared. The results show that the heterogeneous nature of waste is a highly sensitive parameter, and a small change in its elemental analysis varies the technical performance significantly. Similarly, operating hours, plant size, capital investment, waste, and biofuel price are also very influential parameters on process design. Furthermore, the feasibility of waste-to-biofuel systems depends largely on how researchers and engineers select these parameters. Overall, the results reveal that by including the uncertainty of input parameters and assumptions in process design, the biases in results could be addressed transparently, making the overall assessment more reliable. 

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Elsevier Ltd , 2020. Vol. 214, artikkel-id 112867
Emneord [en]
Chemical process reliability, Monte Carlo simulations, Stochastic analysis, Waste-to-biofuel
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-47907DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2020.112867ISI: 000534066900009Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85083887392OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-47907DiVA, id: diva2:1428983
Tilgjengelig fra: 2020-05-07 Laget: 2020-05-07 Sist oppdatert: 2020-09-04bibliografisk kontrollert
Inngår i avhandling
1. Waste-integrated biorefineries: A path towards efficient utilization of waste
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Waste-integrated biorefineries: A path towards efficient utilization of waste
2020 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

Waste-management systems have progressed from landfilling and dumping to waste prevention, recycling and resource recovery. In state-of-the-art waste-management industries, waste is separated into various fractions and treated with suitable processes. The non-recyclable organic fraction of waste can be incinerated for combined heat and power (CHP) production, while biodegradable waste can be converted to biomethane through the anaerobic digestion (AD) process. Thermochemical processes such as gasification and pyrolysis provide alternative methods for treating various fractions of waste. This thesis aims to design energy-efficient and cost-effective waste-integrated biorefineries by integrating thermochemical processing of waste with existing WtE technologies.

A system analysis of five process-integration case studies have been performed. The first case assesses the limitations and operational limits of thermochemical processes retrofitted in an existing waste-based CHP plant. The second and third case studies evaluate the feasibility of the current waste-based CHP plant to shift from cogeneration to polygeneration of biofuels, heat and power. In the fourth case study, a new process configuration is presented that couples AD of biodegradable waste with pyrolysis of lignocellulosic waste. The last case deals with the handling of digested sludge from WWTPs by the integration of thermochemical processes.

The findings suggest that waste-integrated biorefineries can utilize infrastructure and products from existing waste industries through process integration and improve the overall process efficiencies and economics. Existing waste-based CHP plants can provide excess heat for integrated thermochemical processes; however, the modifications required are different for different gasifiers and pyrolyzers. Similarly, refuse-derived fuel (RDF) — processed from municipal solid waste (MSW) — can be utilized for production of various biofuels alongside heat and power without disturbing the operation of the CHP. But biomethane and dimethyl ether (DME) showed higher process feasibility than methanol and drop-in biofuels.

The integration of pyrolysis with the AD process can almost double biomethane production compared with a standalone AD process, increasing efficiency to 67% from 52%. The integration is an attractive investment when off-site — rather than on-site — integration of pyrolysis and AD is considered.

Drying of sludge digestate from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is a bottleneck for its post-processing by thermochemical processes. However, waste heat from the existing CHP plant can be utilized for drying of sludge, which can also replace some of the boiler feed through co-incineration with waste biomass.

The economic performance of waste-integrated biorefineries will depend on the volatility of market conditions. Finally, assessment of the effects of uncertainty of input data and process parameters on metrics of technical and economic performance is vital for evaluation of overall system performance.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2020
Serie
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 322
Emneord
Gasification; Pyrolysis; Anaerobic digestion; Process integration; Aspen Plus; Ebsilon; Techno-economic analysis
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
energi- och miljöteknik
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-49878 (URN)978-91-7485-476-3 (ISBN)
Disputas
2020-10-23, Beta + (Online, Zoom), Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 09:00 (engelsk)
Opponent
Veileder
Tilgjengelig fra: 2020-09-04 Laget: 2020-09-03 Sist oppdatert: 2020-09-23bibliografisk kontrollert

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