Techno-economic analysis of a grape pomace biorefinery: Production of seed oil, polyphenols, and biochar
© 2021 Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved
Processing grape pomace (GP), a major waste from the wine industry, into multiple value-added products based on the biorefinery concept has a potential to reduce waste disposal and promote a sustainable bioeconomy. However, its economic feasibility at a commercial scale remains unknown.
The present study aims to evaluate the economics of a biorefinery process of GP, by performing comparative techno-economic analysis of three processing scenarios:
- a whole biorefinery process that fully utilizes GP biomass and produces grape seed oil, polyphenols, and biochar (GSO + GSKP + GB),
- a process that produces grape seed oil and polyphenols (GSO + GSKP), and
- a process that produces only grape seed oil (GSO).
A plant capacity of about 33,000 metric tons/year was considered in the analysis. Among the three scenarios, the whole biorefinery process (GSO + GSKP + GB) showed the highest economic performance with the net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR), and pay back period of 111.7 million US-$, 34.3%, and 2.5 years, respectively, due to the diverse revenues and minimized waste disposal cost. The GSO plant showed the lowest economic performance with a negative NPV. Sensitivity analysis revealed that plant capacity, polyphenol price, polyphenol concentration (percentage) in grape pomace, and biochar price had dominating influences on the economic performance of the biorefinery process.Click here to read the full document.