Heuristic framework for the debottlenecking of a palm oil-based integrated biorefinery

Harresh Kasivisvanathan*, Raymond R. Tan, Denny K. S. Ng, Mustafa Kamal Abdul Aziz, Dominic C. Y. Foo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a heuristic framework that can be used for the debottlenecking of a palm oil-based integrated biorefinery with multiple processes and products. In current industrial practice, any individual unit within these systems is generally designed for a required size. Besides, it also takes into account of an additional margin for safety to meet the requirement of the baseline state of the process. In case there is a variation in the quality of the supplied feedstock or an increase for product demand, it becomes necessary to identify the bottleneck process unit in order to handle the new variation and meet all requirements. In response, the system has to be debottlenecked by altering important operating parameters from the baseline state that limits the change. This stage entails formulating and solving a detailed model for this particular process. In this paper, frameworks are presented to aid decision makers to first identify a bottleneck and subsequently debottleneck the process. The frameworks are essentially a guide for design and safety engineers for decision making at conceptual design stage. A design stage palm oil-based integrated biorefinery case study is solved to demonstrate the proposed approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2071-2082
Number of pages12
JournalChemical Engineering Research and Design
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


  • Biorefinery
  • Continuous process
  • Debottlenecking framework
  • Heuristic framework
  • Input-output model
  • Palm Oil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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