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Process simulation and economic assessment of hydrothermal pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis of multi-feedstock lignocellulose – Separate vs combined processing

Ashraf, Muhammad Tahir, Schmidt, Jens Ejbye
Bioresource technology 2018 v.249 pp. 835-843
Cynodon dactylon, Phoenix dactylifera, arid zones, biorefining, economic analysis, enzymatic hydrolysis, feed prices, feedstocks, fronds, lignocellulose, sugars
Biorefinery based on multi-feedstock lignocellulose can be viable where a sustainable supply of a single substrate is limited, for example in arid regions. Processing of mixed feedstocks has been studied in lab scale, however, its economics are less studied. In this study, an economic comparison was made between separate and combined (mixed) processing approaches for multi-feedstock lignocellulose for the production of monomeric sugars. This modular approach of focusing on sugar platform makes the results applicable for many applications using the sugars as feedstock. Feedstock considered in this study were the green and woody lignocellulose residues: Bermuda grass, Jasmine hedges, and date palm fronds. Results showed that, at an identical total feed rate, combined processing was more advantageous as compared to separate processing. A further sensitivity analysis on mixed combined processing showed that the cellulase enzyme price and feed price are the two major factors affecting the production cost.