EN-618, Assignment 1

Influence of drying process on the biomass-based polygeneration system of bioethanol, power and heat Authors: Han Song, Fredrik Starfelt, Lilia Daianova, Jinyue Yan Journal: Applied Energy

Submitted By: Ishan Sharma Roll No. 114174001

To Study the effect of introducing a Drying Step in a Biomass based Polygeneration system of Bioethanol, Electrical Power and Heat.

Decision Context:
Bioethanol is increasingly being used as a fuel in the form of a blend with gasoline in motor vehicles. Between 2000 and 2007 the production of ethanol has almost tripled. Increasing bioethanol production is accompanied by the problem of handling the byproducts. One such byproduct produced, in case of bioethanol production from woody mass, is lignin solids. Wood consists mainly of cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. The Lignin is loosened by steam pretreatment exposing cellulose and hemicelluloses for Hydrolysis to form mainly Glucose and Xylose. Glucose in turn produces Ethanol in presence of yeast while Xylose yields Ethanol in the presence of specific Micro-organisms. A Bioethanol production plant can be coupled with a Combined Heat and Power plant (CHP) to make use of the Lignin solids as a fuel. A study by Starfelt F et al. (2010) on “Performance evaluation of adding ethanol production into an existing heat and power plant” demonstrates an increase in the total efficiency of the combined system. The Research Paper under consideration aims at further improving this system and proposes to introduce a Drying process in between the Bioethanol and CHP Plant to study the consequences. The Flue gases from CHP plant have been used to dry the Lignin solids from the bioethanol plant to increase the extent of their combustion in the CHP plant. The Process Flow Diagram is illustrated in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Process Flow Diagram of Polygeneration (Bioethanol, Heat and Power) Process. The above system consists of a Bioethanol plant which uses Wet Biomass, in the form of Wood chips, to produce Anhydrous Ethanol and Lignin Solids as by-product. These Lignin Solids after Drying along with some additional biomass is fed to the Boiler as fuel. The Steam hence generated is fed to Steam Turbine in order to produce electricity and this electricity in turn is fed to the Bioethanol Plant and the Residential area nearby. The Steam(and Condensate) coming out of the Steam Turbine is fed to a Steam Condenser, which condenses the Steam and in turn supplies this heat to the Water Stream responsible for District Heating(DH). As the result of Drying the Lignin solids one may expect the temperatures attained in CHP to be higher. The Temperature of Supply Water for Direct Heating is governed by both Flue Gas Temp in Flue Gas Condenser(FGC) and the Temperature of Steam (and Condensate) coming out of the last stage of Steam Turbine. It is due to this complexity of the situation that we have to use Mathematical Modelling and Simulation Techniques to predict the System’s behavior and optimize it according to our need.

Constants and Variables to be included in Simulation:
The authors have selected a Cogeneration Plant (Heat and Power) of ENA Energy located in Enkoping, Sweden as the case Study. Hence most of the data concerning the CHP and DH are taken from this particular plant. Similarly they have selected the plant of SEKAB at Örnsköldsvik as the basis for data pertaining to Bio-Ethanol Plant. Data Collection Sources: • The data for hydrolysis operation and lignin residues filtering is conducted by field studies at bioethanol pilot plant of SEKAB in Örnsköldsvik with the technical staff, mainly because it deeply affect the drying process. For CHP plant most of the data has been taken from their previous study, which in turn was collected from the CHP plant being operated at Enkoping, Sweden. MC of feedstock and air was collected on site and referred to previous records of the plant. The data pertaining to energy losses during Drying process was referred to the study by R. Roger on “Energy efficient wood fuel drying” (2004).

• • •

Feedstock Composition for wood of Salix used in Modelling of Bioethanoal Process and CHP is listed in Table 1. Composition of Salix (percent of dry raw material) Carbohydrates Glucan 43.0 ± 0.5 Xylan 14.9 ± 0.1 Galactan 2.0 ± 0.3 Arabinan 1.2 ± 0.5 Mannan 3.2 ± 0.1 Lignin Acidinsoluble 24.2 ± 0.9 Acidsoluble 2.4 ± 0.2 Ash Acetyla 1.0 ± 0.1 2.9 ± 0.0

Table 1. Composition of Salix

The Other Operating Parameters associated with Bioethanol Plant and CHP plant used in Simulation are as follows:


Design case Value

Biomass feedstock flow rate (MC = 0.55) 12.47 kg/s Boiler radiation loss (percentage of energy input) 0.95% Oxygen-fuel ratio (k) 0.77 kg/kg Turbine mechanical efficiency 0.98 Turbine Isentropic efficiency Refer to equation (4) Pump mechanical efficiency 0.985 Pump isentropic efficiency 0.85 Generator Electrical efficiency 0.98 Mechanical efficiency 0.98 Steam inlet to the turbine Temperature Pressure District heating Temperature supply Temperature return Flow rate 87 0C 42 0C 240 kg/s 540 0C 100 bar

Feedstock to bioethanol process 25 kg/s Saccharification Steam in Temperature 375 0C Pressure 30 bar Hydrolysis Steam in Temperature 295 0C Pressure 15 bar Dryer (Counter Current Operation) Steam Outlet temperature 80 0C FGC Outlet temperature 55 0C Table 2. Polygeneration Input Data.

As far as the stand-alone (Individual) Process Models of Bioethanol Plant and CHP plants are concerned the Authors have made reference to their previous Study on “Performance evaluation of adding ethanol production into an existing heat and power plant” (Starfelt F et al. (2010)). All the Parameters listed above are used as inputs into a computer Simution of the polygeneration process using the Heat and Mass Transfer Software IPSEproTM.

Assumptions with respect to Bioethanol Process: • • • • • The hemicellulose carbohydrates (galactan, arabinan and mannan) have been assumed to have the same reactions and yields as xylan in the model. The conversion yield of the pre-treatment hydrolyser for hemicellulose carbohydrates has been assumed to be an average of 0.9 (mole based). For cellulosic carbohydrates the yield has been assumed to be 0.1. In the saccharification stage, the yield has been assumed to be 0.9 for conversion from the cellulose carbohydrates left in the mesh. The composition of by-products, mainly lignin, has been assumed to be the same as for wood chips. An equivalent Lower Heating Value (LHV) of 8.89 MJ/kg based on 57% moisture content of the residues has been used. Amount of energy used for bioethanol production is not changed. The energy requirement for hydrolysis and pre-treatment is a linear function of feedstock input.

• •

Assumptions with respect to CHP System: • • • • • The temperature difference of return water of DH and saturation steam after the last backpressure stage of the turbine is assumed as 20 0C. The CHP plant can handle the steam extractions for bioethanol production Delivered biomass feedstock to CHP has the same MC of 0.55 kg/kg and heating values, including woody biomass and lignin solids. Isentropic efficiency in all turbine stages has been assumed to be the same. Following are some other assumptions relating to CHP System: 0.98 0.985 0.85

Turbine mechanical efficiency Pump mechanical efficiency Pump isentropic efficiency

Assumptions with respect to Drying Process: • • Drying medium is only the exhaust flue gas from CHP plant The Moisture Content (MC) of raw material is assumed to be dried from 0.55 to 0.3 kg/kg. This is because reducing the MC further would lead to extremely high Temperatures in the boiler which could lead to NOx formation. Feasibilities of Practical application also dictate that the Temperature must be kept moderate. The outlet temperature of dryer is set to 80 0C to avoid dew formation because the final dew point temperature of the exhaust flue gas after drying process will fall in the range of 60-70 0C. Energy loss of drying process is assumed to be 9.44%. Detailed Thermal energy balance for the dryer is listed as under: Percent of total (%) 100 90.56 4.72 2.36 2.36

• •

Item Total energy input Heat for drying Radiation loss Leakage loss Other loss

Table 3. Thermal Energy Balance for Dryer

Problem Synthesis:
The Authors have used the mass and heat balance software IPSEproTM as a tool to simulate the polygeneration process. IPSEproTM has a standardized definition (in the form of a set of equations and variables) for a variety of equipments (Components) encountered in Energy and Chemical Engineering. IPSEproTM has a set of Model Libraries which have been defined for specific components. A Model Library consists of a set of equations and variables needed to define a component. IPSEproTM also has a Model Development Kit (MDK). MDK allows a user to develop new component definitions or modify existing component definition. IPSEpro™ applies a gradient-based solver using a two-method solving technique. The equations are divided into smaller groups before they are solved simultaneously with a suitable numerical solution method. The basis of most of the equations is mass and energy balance. In the case of Dryer, the Mass and Energy balance equations are as under: 𝑚𝑚𝑏𝑏,𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖 = 𝑚𝑚𝑏𝑏,𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜 + 𝑚𝑚𝑤𝑤 Mass Balance for Biomass: (1) 𝑚𝑚𝑓𝑓

,𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖 �ℎ𝑓𝑓,𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖 − ℎ𝑓𝑓,𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜 �𝐸𝐸𝑑𝑑 = 𝑚𝑚𝑏𝑏,𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜 ∫ 𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜 𝐶𝐶𝐶𝐶 𝑑𝑑𝑜𝑜 + 𝑚𝑚𝑤𝑤 (ℎ𝑤𝑤,𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜 − ℎ𝑤𝑤,𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖 ) 𝑜𝑜 Energy Balance: 𝐶𝐶𝐶𝐶 = 𝐶𝐶𝐶𝐶𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑜𝑖𝑖 (1 − 𝑀𝑀𝐶𝐶) + 𝐶𝐶𝐶𝐶𝑤𝑤 𝑀𝑀𝐶𝐶 Where, 𝑜𝑜 𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖

(2) (3)

mf,in: Mass flow rate of incoming Flue Gas (kg/s) hf: Enthalpy of Flue Gas (kJ/kg) Ed: drying efficiency mb: mass flow rate of biomass (lignin solids)(kg/s) Cp: specific heat capacity of wet biomass (wet lignin solids) (kJ/kg K) mw: mass flow rate of moisture evaporated into steam (kg/s) hw: enthalpy of water (kJ/kg) Cpoven: specific heat capacity of oven dry biomass (kJ/kg K) MC: moisture content in wet biomass (kg/kg) Cpw: specific heat capacity water (kJ/kg K) t: temperature(0C) To calculate the Turbine efficiency (which is the product of its Mechanical and Isentropic efficiency) the authors have assumed the mechanical efficiency to be 98% (as is in the case of most of the modern design steam turbines) and have calculated isentropic efficiency using the following equation: η𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖

Where, m: water steam flow rate (kg/s) ηmech: turbine mechanical efficiency

= 𝑚𝑚

.η𝑚𝑚𝑜𝑜𝑚𝑚 ℎ .∆𝐻𝐻𝑖𝑖𝑖𝑖 𝑖𝑖



∆His: isentropic enthalpy difference (kJ/kg)

WINT, n: Intercept and Slope of the linear Willan’s line, respectively.

Validation of the Simulated Model:
The Simulated model of stand-alone CHP Plant was validated by comparing it with the existing operating conditions in CHP plant at Enköping. The Comparison is shown in Table 4. Validation of the CHP stand-alone model-

Parameter Steam flow (kg/s) Electricity (MW) Pressure of steam extraction 1 (bar) Pressure of steam extraction 2 (bar) Pressure of steam extraction 3 (bar) Pressure of steam extraction 4 (bar) Pressure of steam condenser (bar) Return water temperature of DHa (0C) Supply water temperature of DHa (0C)

Measured 27 22 16.2 6.3 2.2 0.6 0.3 42 87

Simulated 26.85 22 14.91 6.22 2.18 0.65 0.29 42 87

Table 4. Validation of essential Data for Stand-alone CHP simulation.

Results and Conclusion:
The authors have made a comparative study between the following two Scenarios: 1. The CHP plant is integrated with a woody biomass-based bioethanol production and a drying process, and the exhaust flue gas is utilized for drying the lignin solids before condensation in the FGC to heat the DH system 2. The CHP plant is integrated with a woody biomass-based bioethanol production, and the exhaust flue gas is directly condensed in the FGC to heat the DH system If we assume that the MC of all biomass feedstock (including Wood chips and Lignin solids) to boiler can be reduced from 0.55kg/kg to 0.30 kg/kg, the Overall energy efficiency of the existing CHP plant with FGC considered in the polygeneration system can be increased from 79.9% to 84.8% and the power-to-heat ratio goes up from 0.41 to 0.45. The Simulation results are shown in Table 5.

Scenario No Drying Drying of all the feedstock from 0.55MC to 0.3 MC

Delivered biomass of 0.55 MC to CHP (kg/s) (MW) 12.47(94.81)

Power Generation (MW) 21.89

FGC (MW) 8.75

DH (MW) 45.14

Power to Heat Ratio 0.41

Overall Energy Efficiency (%) 79.9







Table 5. Results of Simulated CHP plant for different Scenario. The Flue Gas flow rate is not enough to dry all the feedstock to CHP plant from 0.55 kg/kg MC to 0.30 kg/kg MC. Hence we dry only a part of the Lignin solids from Bioethanol plant and its proportion in the final feedstock to boiler is 0.31 kg/kg. The overall energy efficiency in this case comes out to be 83.0% (3.1% higher than that of using pure 0.55 kg/kg MC biomass). The electricity production has also increased by 5.5% (compared to second scenario). The Simulation Results for this particular case are shown in Table 6.
Delivered biomass of 0.55 M to CHP (kg/s) (MW) 7.36 (94.81) Power Generation (MW) 23.09 Power to Heat Ratio Overall Energy of 0.3 MC by exhaust flue gas (kg/s) 0.42 Overall Energy Efficiency (%) 83.00%

Production of dried feedstock of 0.3 MC by exhaust flue gas (kg/s) 2.42

FGC (MW) 7.5

DH (MW) 47.51

5.31 (94.81)


Table 6. Results of simulated CHP plant with drying step in polygeneration system including a split of the feedstock for drying purposes.

It can be observed from above discussion that as we increase the proportion of 0.3kg/kg MC biomass in the final feedstock, the Power Generation from Steam Turbine increases. It is also accompanied by a decrease in the heat given up by flue gas in Flue Gas Condenser (FGC) for Direct Heating (DH). Hence, the first scenario (involving the drying step) is beneficial in summers and relatively warmer days while during the cold times second scenario should be applied. Hence it can be concluded that introducing a drying step in the polygeneration plant results in an increase in overall energy efficiency of the system by 3.1 %. It also leads to an increase in electricity production by 5.5%.

Usefulness of the Study:
• Though the present study took specific Bioethanol and CHP plants as the basis of analysis, the model can easily be modified by changing the inputs (Component and feedstock specific) to represent any other Bioethanol, Heat and Power Polygeneration system. The present study successfully demonstrates the benefits (in term of increase in overall energy efficiency and power generation). It also offers a way to further increase the efficiency by using the steam from turbine to further dry the lignin solids. This model can also prove to be quite useful to developing and underdeveloped nations. Two of the basic requirements for continual growth, in today’s highly globalised economic scenario, are oil and electricity. Developing and Underdeveloped nations need continuous oil and electricity supply to maintain (or increase) their economic growth rate. Such a polygeneration process can prove to be quite useful in such a case. On one hand it provides them an opportunity to reduce their gasoline consumption (by blending it with the produced ethanol) and on the other hand it provides them the necessary electricity to keep their industries running. Usually these countries have abundant biomass resources and Green House Gas (GHG) neutral origin. Specifically in India’s case, there is a wide gap between the Demand and Supply of Electricity in certain states. We are also importing majority of the Crude oil that we refine. This particular Polygeneration process with improved efficiency seems to be quite promising under such circumstances.

Limitations of the Model:
• The Feedstock Moisture Content (MC) was assumed to have the same value 0.55 kg/kg, but the moisture content varies with the season (it’s usually more in rainy and cold seasons) and place of origin of the feedstock. While validating the stand-alone simulated model of CHP plant the error in the parameter “Pressure of steam extraction 1” came out to be 7.96%, which is higher than the conventionally accepted 5% mark. Though this may not have any significant impact over the end result, but nevertheless the model could have been more finely tuned to the measured values. The assumption of same isentropic efficiency in all the turbine stages could also have had an impact on the end result.


Solution Methodology:
Define Problem Objective:   Define Constants and Variables to be included in  Simulation:   Collect the required data needed as an input for  simulation from existing Bioethanol and CHP  plants.  Make necessary assumptions.

      between a Bioethanol plant and Combined Heat 
and Power Plant.  Study the influence of introducing a drying step in 



Try to tune the Simulation Model by reconsidering the  assumptions (like turbine efficiency) made. Also,  recheck the inputs fed to into the model.  Problem Synthesis: 

Are the  Simulation results  matching the  measured values? 

Validate the prepared model by comparing the  Simulation results with their respective  measured (operating) values.  

Use the mass and energy balance software, IPSEproTM to  prepare a simulated model of the Polygeneration System.   Make use of Model Development kit (MDK) in IPSEproTM to  modify existing Model libraries to modify components to  meet our requirements.


Compare the Two scenarios (one with and the other without  drying step) in terms of Power Generation, Heat to District  Heating and the heat given to Flue Gas Condenser. 

Decide which Scenario is beneficial under what situation and propose the recommendations accordingly.  

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