The performances of the different units investigated will be assessed for lab scale as well as for pilot scale and further on extrapolated to industrial size (processing 30 000 t dry biomass per year).The ethanol production data will be extrapolated from the pilot scale operating conditions from the feeding of the raw biomass to the production of the fermented mashes, and the biogas production data from the pilot scale methanation experiments. The comparison between the evaluation of results from lab and pilot scale will provide valuable information to assess the technical risks when modelling the scale-up of the process to industrial level.
All the engineering and economic data (mass and energy balances, utilities consumptions, CAPEX & OPEX data, incomes and P&L statement forecast) will be worked out in a standard set of spread sheets once the design of the plant is completed. The parameters for the mass balances of the processes will be defined in close cooperation with the technology developers of the project. The engineering spread sheets will be rerun periodically when new results will come from the laboratories.
It is expected that one techno-economic evaluation run will be performed every 6 months from project month 12 to project month 36 for the 3 reference biomasses studied in BABET-REAL5. Additional runs for other biomasses will be performed on the same frequency from project month 18 to project month 36.
Each techno-economic run will generate one run of Life Cycle Impact Assessment. The impact assessments will be run with the software SIMAPRO according to the four stages methodological framework of the ISO-14040 standard. The conversion factors for the GHG emissions will be generally taken from the ECOVENT European data base (other sources better adapted with local conditions will be used for the evaluation of the business cases).
The functional unit for ethanol and biogas production will be 1 mega joule (MJ). The impacts will be evaluated from the production/supply of raw materials to the delivery of the products to the users (i.e. oil refinery or storage, gas network, farmers for fertilizers). The variations will concern only the gate to gate part of the value chain while during the business case study, all the variables along the production value chain will be taken into consideration.
The energy efficiency will be evaluated taking into account different scenarios:
- with production of biogas
- with production of heat and electricity
- with and without recycling the energy in the plant
- with and without the corresponding economic allocations (determined from profit & loss statement data)
The GHG emissions or Global Warming will be evaluated taking into account the carbon foot print of the enzymes’ production. Two scenarios will be considered with enzymes’ supplies from biotechnology companies and with enzymes’ production on the ethanol plant’s site. The results will also be provided with and without economic allocations.