Title page for ETD etd-03142009-040725


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Avellar, Brecc K.
URN etd-03142009-040725
Title Technical review and economic evaluation :steam- explosion/fractionation of biomass
Degree Master of Science
Department Chemical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Glasser, Wolfgang G. Committee Chair
Michelsen, Donald L. Committee Member
Velander, William H. Committee Member
Keywords
  • Pulp mills
Date of Defense 1990-06-04
Availability restricted
Abstract

A series of process design and economics models have been created which calculate the process cost for several scenarios in steam-explosion/fractionation of wood. Steam -explosion pulping may prove to be an alternative to currently practiced standard pulping processes which require large capital investments, cause significant environmental problems, and produce a narrow range of products. In addition, steam-explosion/fractionation technology may offer the opportunity to produce chemicals and materials from biomass at a lower raw material and process cost than the alternative petrochemical feedstocks.

The models are a series of modular computer simulations, where each module summarizes a particular group of unit operations with respect to mass balance, energy requirements, and process cost including utilities, capital, labor, and other related costs. These modules are compiled into 3 groups of scenarios: 1) unprocessed steam-exploded wood for use as enzyme! acid hydrolysis feedstock, hardboard production, or as unbleached pulp, 2) water extracted steam-exploded wood for recovery of pentosan polysaccharides and a lignocellulosic fiber, and 3) water and aqueous solvent (alkali or ethanol) extracted steam -exploded wood for recovery of pentosan polysaccharides, lignin polymers, and a cellulose -rich, unbleached fiber.

For the base case evaluated, the cost of producing a 50% moisture, based on total weight, steam-exploded fiber is the raw material cost, dry basis, plus 3.5 cents! Lb of raw material consumed, dry basis. For Southwestern Virginia hardwoods at 2 cents/Lb ($40 per ton), dry basis, the total process cost is 5.5 cents/ Lb.

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