Sadhukhan, J., Mustafa, M.A., Misailidis, N., Mateos-Salvador, F., Du, Chenyu and Campbell, Grant M. (2008) Value analysis tool for feasibility studies of biorefineries integrated with value added production. Chemical Engineering Science, 63 (2). pp. 503-519. ISSN 0009-2509

A value analysis methodology [Sadhukhan, J., Zhang, N., Zhu, X.X. (Frank), 2003. Value analysis of complex systems and industrial application to refineries. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 42(21), 5165; Sadhukhan, J., Zhang, N., Zhu, X.X. (Frank), 2004. Analytical optimisation of industrial systems and applications to refineries, petrochemicals. Chemical Engineering Science 59(20), 4169; Sadhukhan, J., Smith, R., 2007. Synthesis of industrial systems based on value analysis. Computers & Chemical Engineering 31(5–6), 535] has been presented for investigating into the economic feasibility of biorefineries. The methodology devises a mechanism for systematic design of industrial systems based on comprehensive assessment of value on processing and cost of production, hence marginal contributions from individual processing routes and products. The feasibility of extracting value added products such as arabinoxylans (AX) from wheat bran within a wheat biorefinery principally producing ethanol has been investigated. Site-wide integrated flowsheets have been created by which AX can be extracted after recovering bran from wheat with ethanol production from the remaining wheat. Based on the most promising test case, value analysis shows that creating a market for AX is feasible in terms of production costs if the AX is co-produced with ethanol. A comprehensive value analysis that includes capital investment policies indicates that the required market price for AX to breakeven against conventional biorefineries without value added production is a strong function of plant life and this may vary between 4 and 6 £/kg for a plant life of 5–2 years, respectively. Further, it shows that if a market can be created for AX as a food ingredient with a selling price of 6 £/kg, the ethanol co-produced can be sold at 10% less than from a conventional biorefinery under current economic scenario.

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