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Unformatted text preview: Executive Summary The purpose of this study was to optimize the design of a biorefinery in the United States. This biorefinery incorporates the production of biofuels with chemical commodity processes. A mathematical model was used to optimize the biorefinery design around net present value. The optimal biorefinery design determined combined biofuels 3-hydroxypropionic acid, levulinic acid, and tetrahydrofuran production from a switchgrass feedstock. The biorefinery will be built in Lexington, KY with a total capital investment of $176 million. The yearly production of biofuels 3-hydroypropionic acid, levulinic acid, and tetrahydrofuran from the refinery are 1.44 billion, 6.5 million, 57.6 million, and 40 million kg/yr respectively. This design has a net present value of $687 million with a return on investment of 24.5%. After setting the here-and-now decisions, a second optimal design was determined based on stochastic, or uncertainty, analysis of product and raw material prices and demand. The same processes from the base-case, uncertainty, analysis of product and raw material prices and demand....
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- Spring '10
- Chemical Engineering