A multiobjective optimization including results of life cycle assessment in developing biorenewables-based processes


A decision support tool has been developed that uses global multiobjective optimization based on 1) the environmental impacts, evaluated within the framework of full life cycle assessment; and 2) process costs, evaluated by using rigorous process models. This approach is particularly useful in developing biorenewable-based energy solutions and chemicals manufacturing, for which multiple criteria must be evaluated and optimization-based decision-making processes are particularly attractive. The framework is demonstrated by using a case study of the conversion of terpenes derived from biowaste feedstocks into reactive intermediates. A two-step chemical conversion/separation sequence was implemented as a rigorous process model and combined with a life cycle model. A life cycle inventory for crude sulfate turpentine was developed, as well as a conceptual process of its separation into pure terpene feedstocks. The performed single- and multiobjective optimizations demonstrate the functionality of the optimization-based process development and illustrate the approach. The most significant advance is the ability to perform multiobjective global optimization, resulting in identification of a region of Pareto-optimal solutions.

ChemSusChem, 10