Chemicals from Biomass: Integrating Bioprocesses into Chemical Production Complexes for Sustainable Development, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Chemicals from Biomass

Integrating Bioprocesses into Chemical Production Complexes for Sustainable Development, 1st Edition

By Debalina Sengupta, Ralph W. Pike

CRC Press

506 pages | 11 Color Illus. | 157 B/W Illus.

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Chemicals from Biomass: Integrating Bioprocesses into Chemical Production Complexes for Sustainable Development helps engineers optimize the development of new chemical and polymer plants that use renewable resources to replace the output of goods and services from existing plants. It also discusses the conversion of those existing plants into facilities that are based on renewable resources that may require nonrenewable resource supplements.

Relying on extensive reviews of biomass as feedstock and the production of chemicals from biomass, this book identifies and illustrates the design of new chemical processes (bioprocesses) that use renewable feedstock (biomass) as raw materials. The authors show how these new bioprocesses can be integrated into the existing plant in a chemical production complex to obtain the best combination of energy-efficient and environmentally acceptable facilities. This presented methodology is an essential component of sustainable development, and these steps are essential to achieving a sustainable chemical industry.

The authors evaluate potential bioprocesses based on a conceptual design of biomass-based chemical production, and they use Aspen HYSYS® and Aspen ICARUS® to perform simulations and economic evaluations of these processes. The book outlines detailed process designs created for seven bioprocesses that use biomass and carbon dioxide as feedstock to produce a range of chemicals and monomers. These include fermentation, transesterification, anaerobic digestion, gasification, and algae oil production. These process designs, and associated simulation codes, can be downloaded for modification, as needed. The methodology presented in this book can be used to evaluate energy efficiency, cost, sustainability, and environmental acceptability of plants and new products. Based on the results of that analysis, the methodology can be applied to other chemical complexes for new bioprocesses, reduced emissions, and energy savings.


"… this book’s detailed approach on a recent topic—biomass utilization—makes me interested and impressed as well. Especially, a plant simulation with optimization is a daunting task for any biochemical system. … the book deals with such a difficult task efficiently and in an easy way to make it acceptable."

—Dr. Chiranjib Bhattacharjee, Department of Chemical Engineering, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India

"Overall, the book is well written and treats a timely subject with good breadth and depth, sufficient to make the material of practical use. Using biomass in existing chemical production complexes is important. The reason is that there is a great deal of chemical manufacturing infrastructure representing substantial capital that needs to be used gainfully. This makes the case studies very interesting."

—Heriberto Cabezas, U.S. EPA, Office of Research and Development, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Table of Contents



Research Vision

New Frontiers

Chemical Industry in the Lower Mississippi River Corridor

Criteria for the Optimal Configuration of Plants

Optimization of Chemical Complex

Contributions of This Methodology

Organization of Chapters


Biomass as Feedstock


Biomass Formation

Biomass Classification and Composition

Biomass Conversion Technologies

Biomass Feedstock Availability


Chemicals from Biomass


Chemicals from Nonrenewable Resources

Chemicals from Biomass as Feedstock

Biomass Conversion Products (Chemicals)

Biopolymers and Biomaterials

Natural-Oil-Based Polymers and Chemicals


Simulation for Bioprocesses


Ethanol Production from Corn Stover Fermentation

Ethylene Production from Dehydration of Ethanol

Fatty Acid Methyl Ester and Glycerol from Transesterification of Soybean Oil

Propylene Glycol Production from Hydrogenolysis of Glycerol

Acetic Acid Production from Corn Stover Anaerobic Digestion

Ethanol Production from Corn Dry-Grind Fermentation


Bioprocesses Plant Model Formulation


Ethanol Production from Corn Stover Fermentation

Ethanol Production from Corn Dry-Grind Fermentation

Ethylene Production from Dehydration of Ethanol

Acetic Acid Production from Corn Stover Anaerobic Digestion

Fatty Acid Methyl Ester and Glycerol from Transesterification of Natural Oil

Propylene Glycol Production from Hydrogenolysis of Glycerol

Algae Oil Production

Gasification of Corn Stover

Summary of Bioprocess Model Formulation

Interconnections for Bioprocesses


Formulation and Optimization of the Superstructure


Integrated Biochemical and Chemical Production Complex Optimization

Binary Variables and Logical Constraints for MINLP

Constraints for Capacity and Demand

Optimization Economic Model—Triple Bottom Line

Optimal Structure

Multiobjective Optimization of the Integrated Biochemical Production Complex

Sensitivity of the Integrated Biochemical Production Complex

Comparison with Other Results


Case Studies Using Superstructure


Case Study I—Superstructure without Carbon Dioxide Use

Case Study II—Parametric Study of Sustainable Costs and Credits

Case Study III—Parametric Study of Algae Oil Production Costs

Case Study IV—Multicriteria Optimization Using 30%-Oil-Content Algae and Sustainable Costs/Credits

Case Study V—Parametric Study for Biomass Feedstock Costs and Number of Corn Ethanol Plants


Appendix A: TCA Methodology and Sustainability Analysis

Appendix B: Optimization Theory

Appendix C: Prices of Raw Materials and Products in the Complex

Appendix D: Supply, Demand, and Price Elasticity

Appendix E: Chemical Complex Analysis System

Appendix F: Detailed Mass and Energy Streams from Simulation Results

Appendix G: Equipment Mapping and Costs from ICARUS

Appendix H: Molecular Weights

Appendix I: Postscript

About the Authors

Debalina Sengupta received her bachelor of engineering degree in chemical engineering from Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India, in 2003. She worked as a software engineer in Patni Computer Systems from 2003 to 2004. In 2005, she joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She received her doctor of philosophy degree in chemical engineering under the guidance of Professor Ralph W. Pike for her research titled "Integrating bioprocesses into industrial complexes for sustainable development" in 2010. Her expertise is in optimization of industrial complexes and sustainability analysis using total cost assessment methodology. She is now working as an ORISE postdoctoral fellow at the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Her current research is focused on sustainable supply chain design of biofuels and includes life cycle assessment (LCA) for ethanol as biofuel. Her research interests include chemicals from biomass, modeling, simulation, and optimization, as well as life cycle assessment and sustainability analysis.

Ralph W. Pike is the director of the Minerals Processing Research Division and is the Paul M. Horton Professor of Chemical Engineering at Louisiana State University. He received his doctorate and bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the author of a textbook entitled Optimization for Engineering Systems and coauthor of four other books on design and modeling of chemical processes. Pike has directed 15 doctoral dissertations and 16 master’s theses in chemical engineering. He is a registered professional engineer in Louisiana and Texas. His research has been sponsored by federal and state agencies and private organizations, with 107 awards totaling $5.6 million, and has resulted in over 200 publications and presentations. His research specialties are optimization theory and applications for the optimal design of engineering systems, online optimization of continuous processes, optimization of chemical production complexes, and related areas of resources management, sustainable development, continuous processes for carbon nanotubes, and chemicals from biomass.

About the Series

Green Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Biotechnology
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Industrial & Technical
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Chemical & Biochemical
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / Pollution Control