A comprehensive review on the implementation of the biorefinery concept in biodiesel production plants

Document Type: Review Paper

Authors

Instituto de Biotecnología y Agroindustria, Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Manizales, Km. 7 vía al Magdalena, Manizales, Colombia.

Abstract

Biodiesel is a promising alternative to petroleum diesel and its production from various generations of feedstocks by using different technologies has been constantly growing globally. However, in spite of such large scale of production, serious considerations should be taken into account to ensure the long-term sustainability of biodiesel production. This issue becomes more of concern given the fact that some generations of feedstocks used for biodiesel production are in clear conflict with food security. The concept of biorefinery has been at the center of attention with an aim to address these challenges by promoting an integral use of biomass to allow the production of multiple products along with biodiesel. Such implementation has been extensively studied over the last years and is expected to lead to economic, environmental, and social advantages over individual processes. The current review first presented an overview on biodiesel, its different feedstocks, and production technologies. Subsequently, the biorefinery concept and its correct implementation was technically discussed. Biodiesel production under the biorefinery scheme was also presented. Finally, techno-economic analysis of biodiesel production under the biorefinery concept by considering palm oil-based biorefinery as case study was investigated.

Graphical Abstract

A comprehensive review on the implementation of the biorefinery concept in biodiesel production plants

Highlights

  • Integral use of biomass under biorefinery concept in general leads to economic, environmental, and social advantages over individual processes.
  • Biorefineries must be conceptualized beforehand in order to achieve optimal selection of technologies, raw materials, and products.
  • Sole production of biodiesel on the analyzed scale would not cover all the production costs.
  • Multiple-products production such as xylitol, ethanol, syngas, and electricity in addition to biodiesel would enhance the overall viability of the plant.

Keywords


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