getpdf

Structural Prospects and Challenges for Bio Commodity Processes 

Michael Narodoslawsky*


Institute for Process Engineering, Graz University of Technology, Inffeldgasse 21a, AT-8010 Graz, Austria

Article history:

Received January 28, 2010
Accepted June 10, 2010

Key words:

renewable resources, process synthesis, sustainable process index, ecology of scale

Summary:

The current discussion about dwindling reserves of crude oil, rising fuel prices, global warming and supply disruption of natural gas has renewed interest in the provision of bioenergy and bio-based commodity products. There is a growing consensus that the 21st century will see a profound change in the resource base for industry and society, with less emphasis on fossil coal, oil and gas and more emphasis on renewable resources. This new resource base may take the form either of direct solar energy like photovoltaics and thermal solar energy or indirect utilisation of solar energy via biomass. Such a change in the raw material base, however, entails a profound revolution in the structure of processes, technologies employed and the economical framework of industry and society. Renewable resources constitute 'limited infinity': although they may be provided for infinite time, their yield is limited. This paper explores the strategic challenges for society in general and process industry in particular, and indicates some methodological approaches to meet these challenges, exemplified in case studies about decentralised bioethanol production and decentralised multifunctional production centres. The paper shows that utilising renewable resources enlarges the process concept by including resource provision and logistics into the process design. It also highlights a new balance between economy and ecology of scale when resource provision and logistics are taken into account. Ecological process evaluation as analytical methods and process synthesis as design methods will gain increasing importance for process technology as the share of renewable resources is increased.



*Corresponding author:    narodoslawsky@tugraz.at
                                                     ++43 316 873 7468

Search FTB


Follow us


 facebook 1 twitter bird_icon LI In Bug

 

QR Code


qrcode

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

I accept cookies from this site.

EU Cookie Directive Module Information