System-wide Throughput Analysis

The FCIC System-wide Throughput Analysis project uses system analysis to assess the impacts of variable feedstock properties on the operational reliability and performance of biorefineries. 

FCIC researchers will determine the operational reliability of biomass preprocessing and biofuel conversion systems as the probability that the system will achieve a specified annual design capacity, biofuel yield and minimum fuel selling price. 

This approach differs from the standard criteria used to determine the reliability of a given piece of equipment, i.e. the ability to consistently perform its function, on demand and without degradation or failure. Instead, System-wide Throughput Analysis considers the impacts of interactions among system components on annual capacity and the operational performance of the aggregate system. 

FCIC researchers will use discrete event modeling to perform a system-wide analysis of a biofuel production system from harvest, through preprocessing, to the reactor throat during a year of operation. This analysis will predict the throughput variability of the biomass preprocessing system, and the composition and particle size of biomass entering conversion. 

Researchers will then model the annual operational impacts of these variable feedstock properties on rates, titers and yields during conversion of biomass to biofuels using steady state process simulation over discrete time periods during the year.

The end result is biorefinery-wide mass and energy balances, capital and annual operating expenses, and ultimately annual biofuel yield, minimum fuel selling price and greenhouse gas emissions.

Supporting Capabilities and Facilities

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