The design of a biorefining process is challenging due to the high number of products that can be obtained from one feedstock, and the fact that some products can be negatively affected by processing conditions that are essential for other products. To facilitate this design, we propose the use of the product driven process synthesis methodology, with some adaptations. Four novel steps were introduced: (1) decomposition of the feedstock into its main compound classes, (2) identification of the potential uses of the compound classes found in the feedstock, based on the functionalities that they can deliver, (3) selection of the product-targets by evaluating their economic potential, and (4) identification of “critical tasks”, i.e., tasks that negatively affect the quantity and/or quality of each product during their separation. To illustrate how this new approach can be used in practice, a case study of a sugar beet leaves biorefinery is presented.
- Sugar beet leaves