Novel integrated design techniques for biorefineries

Ng, Lik Yin (2015) Novel integrated design techniques for biorefineries. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Utilisation of biomass is identified as one of the promising solutions to reduce society’s dependence on fossil fuels and mitigate climate change caused by the exploitation of fossil fuels. By using the concept of biorefinery, biomass can be converted into value-added products such as biofuels, biochemical products and biomaterials in a greener and sustainable way. To enhance the efficiency of biorefinery, the concept of integrated biorefinery which focuses on the integration of various biomass conversion technologies is utilised. To date, various biomass conversion pathways are available to convert biomass into a wide range of products. Due to the substantial amount of potential products and conversion technologies, determining of chemical products and processing routes in an integrated biorefinery have become more challenging. Hence, there is a need for a methodology capable of evaluating the integrated process in order to identify the optimal products as well as the optimal conversion pathways that produce the identified products.

This thesis presents a novel approach which integrates process with product design techniques for integrated biorefineries. In the proposed approach, integration between synthesis of integrated biorefinery and computer-aided molecular design (CAMD) techniques is presented. By using CAMD techniques, optimal chemical product in terms of target properties which fulfils the required product needs is designed. On the other hand, in order to identify the conversion pathways that produce the identified optimal chemical product in an integrated biorefinery, chemical reaction pathway map (CRPM) and superstructural mathematical optimisation approach have been utilised. Furthermore, this thesis also presents various chemical product design approaches. In order to solve chemical design problems where multiple product needs are required to be considered and optimised, a novel multi-objective optimisation approach for chemical product design has been presented. By using fuzzy optimisation approach, the developed multi-objective optimisation approach identifies optimal chemical product based on multiple product properties. In addition, fuzzy optimisation approach has been further extended to address chemical product design problems where the accuracy of property prediction model is taken into account. A robust chemical product design approach is developed to design optimal chemical products with consideration of accuracy of property prediction model. Furthermore, together with CAMD techniques and superstructural mathematical optimisation approach, the developed multi-objective optimisation approach has been utilised for the design of mixtures in an integrated biorefinery. For this purpose, a systematic optimisation approach has been developed to identify optimal mixture based on multiple desired product needs as well as the optimal conversion pathways that convert biomass into the optimal mixture. Finally, possible extensions and future opportunities for the realm of the research work have been highlighted in the later part of this thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Chemmangattuvalappil, Nishanth G.
Ng, Denny Kok Sum
Keywords: computer-aided molecular design, integrated biorefinery, integrated product and process design, inverse design techniques, product design
Subjects: T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Faculties/Schools: University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Science and Engineering — Engineering > Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Item ID: 29016
Depositing User: NG, LIK YIN
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2016 09:22
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2021 14:05

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