Conceptual synthesis of gasification-based biorefineries using thermodynamic equilibrium optimization models

Douglas H. S. Tay, Houssein Kheireddine, Denny K. S. Ng*, Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi, Raymond R. Tan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


An integrated biorefinery is a processing facility that converts biomass into a wide range of biochemical products and also provides a sustainable supply of biofuels and energy. One of its critical features is the ability to handle a wide variety of biomass feedstocks and the capacity to produce a portfolio of products through multiple conversion technologies. The gasification process is recognized as a promising option for initial processing of biomass, as it is a robust thermal conversion process. The composition of syngas, especially the ratio of H2 to CO, is crucial when the syngas is further converted to liquid fuels and chemicals. To optimize the production of syngas for application in an integrated biorefinery, a systematic approach is needed to design the system and predict its performance. In this work, a modular optimization approach to link a stoichiometric equilibrium model of biomass gasification and structural models of synthesis processes is developed. In this approach, all model components are solved simultaneously. The approach is used to evaluate the equilibrium composition of syngas, the optimum operating temperature, and the required types and amounts of oxidants. Two case studies are used to illustrate the approach. A sensitivity analysis is then performed to assess the most significant factors affecting the process economics in these examples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10681-10695
Number of pages15
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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