Solids handling for biorefinery integration using process engineering simulators

Fernan Mateos-Salvador, Jhuma Sadhukhan, Jose A. Caballero, Grant M. Campbell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The world economy currently relies on oil as an energy source for fuels and petrol, and as the raw material source for almost any carbon-based commodity chemical. Cereal biorefineries will play a key role in the new economic scenario. Cereals offer large scale production, high energy density and preexisting infrastructures for handling and transportation. In a cereal biorefinery, wheat, being composed of solid granular kernels, requires as first steps appropriate milling and separation into different fractions. The effectiveness of the fractionation at this stage of the process greatly affects the performance and efficiency of later stages. The use of commercial process engineering software for solids simulation is presented. Four different general, commercial, process engineering packages (Aspen Plus®, Hysys®, PRO/II®, and Chemcad®) were evaluated to asses their general adequacy for the implementation of solids operations, and the degree and flexibility of customization they support. The evaluated parameters encompass the definition of solid component to the limitations posed by the programs as a result of the introduction of solids in the flowsheet. Some deficiencies and some directions for further improvement are shown. An example of the integration of solids handling in Hysys® is presented, i.e., a simplified sifting unit, and a roller milling unit for wheat are included in the process simulator. The need to add population balance capabilities alongside the mass and energy balance facilities that currently form the basis of process simulators is also presented. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the 2006 AIChE Annual Meeting (San Francisco, CA 11/12-17/2006).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2006 AIChE Annual Meeting
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event2006 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 12 Nov 200617 Nov 2006 (Link to Meeting Details)


Conference2006 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting
Abbreviated titleAIChE 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Internet address


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