Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSChE)


Chemical Engineering

Document Type



The primary purpose of this research is to investigate the design and modelling of fully integrated processes which utilize renewable feedstock as raw materials and evaluate the alternative technology and possible process integration options for biorefinery processes to select the optimal configuration based on the production yields and economical profit criteria. The case study considered in this work is a lignocellulosic biorefinery plant which has different technology choices for each section of the process and the ability to produce multi-products from lignocellulosic raw materials. We analyzed different scenarios by simulating the superstructures in Aspen Plus. To incorporate more non-linarites in the process and put more realism in simulations, complex kinetics of bio-reactions are modeled in Matlab based on the experimentally calculated kinetics from literature. To reduce the toxicity of hydrolysates generated from pretreatment, detoxification is necessary as the by-products can have negative impact on downstream process sections such as enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation. Two technology options are considered for detoxification process in our study. Additionally, two alternative solid separation routes are proposed and evaluated. Sustainable biorefinery requires a portfolio of products to produce different bio-fuels and bio-chemicals. In this work, one of the proposed scenarios considers succinic acid as a co-product of the plant. Final results show the optimal biorefinery process by evaluating the alternative process configurations based on the product yields and economic parameters. Succinic acid production makes a huge increase in the profitability of the plant. Ammonia conditioning is selected as detoxification technology, and separating solids after the first distillation column is the preferable technology.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Romagnoli, Jose A