Superstructure Optimization for the Design of an Algae Biorefinery Producing Added Value Products

Maryam Raeisi*, Jiawei Huang, Thien An Huynh, Meik B. Franke, Edwin Zondervan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study presents a superstructure framework to evaluate processing pathways for the production of omega-3 and pigments in an algae biorefinery. Different stages such as cultivation, harvesting, dewatering, drying, cell distribution, and extraction are considered as processing sections in this superstructure. To simplify and speed up modelling, each of these technologies is grouped in blocks. The superstructure framework is converted to a mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) model. It has more than 6.000 constraints/variables. The model is implemented in the Advanced Interactive Multidimensional Modelling System (AIMMS) software. The CPLEX and CONOPT are the selected solvers. The most promising pathways for three types of microalgae are proposed. These have differences in the dewatering section. Furthermore, the different pathways are compared in terms of cost and performance. The results show that the Haematococcus Pluvialis biorefinery leads to the highest profits due to pigments products' high amount and price.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer Aided Chemical Engineering
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Publication series

NameComputer Aided Chemical Engineering
ISSN (Print)1570-7946


  • algae biorefinery
  • biochemical
  • Superstructure optimization
  • techno-economic analysis
  • NLA


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