Techno-economic assessment of polysaccharide extraction from baobab: A scale up analysis

Maria Dimopoulou, Vivian Offiah, Kolawole Falade, Alan M. Smith, Vassilis Kontogiorgos, Athanasios Angelis-Dimakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This research studied the commercial exploitation of an indigenous African crop in order to formulate high value products, with a potential significant impact on the local economy. More specifically, the present work investigated the extraction of polysaccharides from baobab in a bench-scale unit, focusing on the overall yield and the techno-economic assessment of the extraction process. Preliminary technoeconomic analysis for two scenarios (with and without ethanol recycling) was performed to determine the economic viability of the process and the development of the baobab market both in Nigeria and the UK. A full economic analysis was undertaken for each of the two scenarios, considering all operating and capital costs, and the production cost of baobab polysaccharides was estimated based on a constant return on investment. Combining the operating cost with the average polysaccharide yield, the minimum profitable selling price in the UK was estimated to be between £23 and £35 per 100 g of polysaccharide, which is comparable to the commercial selling price of high purity polysaccharides. An assessment of a scaled-up plant was also performed under Nigerian conditions and the results showed that such an investment is potentially viable and profitable, with a minimum profitable selling price of £27 per 100 g, a value comparable to the UK-based scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9915
Number of pages13
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021


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