Optimal configuration and economic analysis of PRO-retrofitted industrial networks for sustainable energy production and material recovery considering uncertainties: Bioethanol and sugar mill case study


In this study, an optimal scheme is proposed by utilizing waste streams at a plant-wide scale along with pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) membrane allocation in complex industrial networks for energy recovery. Chemical exergy pinch analysis (ChExPA) and process graph (P-graph) are used to address the problem. The ultimate goals of utilizing the tools are (1) determine the optimal external load consumption, (2) minimizing the waste discharge, and (3) sustainable energy production while utilizing high chemical exergy potential waste discharges. A reliability assessment assisted with Monte-Carlo simulation is further performed to evaluate the proposed solutions from P-graph considering uncertainties. The effectiveness of the proposed methodology is explained using three industrial case studies which covered both intra-plant and inter-plant networks. The results indicated that ChExPA and P-graph can effectively identify the optimal location of the PRO membrane in industrial networks. Upon analyzing the complex inter-plant industrial networks 7.795 MW net power output was harnessed, and significantly higher waste of 384.92 kg/s was recovered with a levelized cost of energy of 0.073 $/kWh. The inter-plant network shows the greatest net profit which accounted for approximately $1,191,000 (i.e., 5.84 times higher than stand-alone plants) with a reasonable payback-period of 4.5 years.

Renewable Energy