A comprehensive techno-economic analysis tool to validate long-term viability of emerging biorefining processes

Sumesh Sukumara, Joseph Amundson, Fazleena Badurdeen, Jeffrey Seay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


As recent research continues to explore possibilities for developing renewable biofuels, there arises a need for a supporting framework that can guide the research along a path that will lead to long-term techno-economic viability. Processing of biomass into various marketable products requires a well-planned strategy from an investment, agriculture, management, and policy-making perspective. This novel techno-economic analysis tool encompasses multiple process and supply chain models into a comprehensive decision support tool. Incorporation of detailed upstream and downstream processes not only gives an opportunity to accommodate fundamental research, but also allows for the incorporation of the effects of future uncertainties. This claim is further validated by performing a case study on a biological process to convert locally available corn stover to ethanol. The results obtained show that unique integration of process simulation, supply chain optimization, and discrete event simulation can be used to validate the long-term economic viability of a biorefining process. Analysis demonstrates that the developed decision support tool can be applied to estimate long-term economic and environmental viability of potential biorefining processes in any given region of interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1793-1806
Number of pages14
JournalClean Technologies and Environmental Policy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 22 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Springer-Verlag.


  • Biofuel
  • Biomass
  • Ethanol
  • Integrated biorefinery
  • Optimization
  • Simulation
  • Supply chain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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