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Title:Advanced anaerobic treatment for energy recovery and improved process economics in the management of biorefinery wastewaters
Author(s):Kontos, George Andrew
Advisor(s):Guest, Jeremy S
Department / Program:Civil & Environmental Eng
Discipline:Environ Engr in Civil Engr
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):anaerobic digestion
wastewater treatment
biogas
biodegradability
biofuel
lignocellulosic biomass
Abstract:As efforts increase to shift energy sources away from fossil fuels, bioenergy has been identified as one potential mechanism to reduce the environmental impacts of liquid fuels. But to be able to realize the environmental benefits offered by bioenergy development requires cost competitiveness of biofuels and their coproducts. This study set out to improve biorefinery process economics and enable more robust techno-economic analyses (TEAs) through a focused analysis and evaluation of the wastewater treatment process and more specifically, the anaerobic treatment system design. To this effect, this study began with a comprehensive wastewater characterization and composition analysis to verify its suitability for digestion. From there the wastewater was further evaluated to determine potential methane yield, drawing upon a combination of literature-derived values and theoretical calculations. Finally, the results from the wastewater analysis were fed into the developed process model for the chosen anaerobic treatment technology. The internal circulation (IC) reactor, a high-rate anaerobic treatment system, was selected because of its unique ability to handle high-strength wastewaters consistent with biorefinery operations, while recovering energy and significantly reducing the system size and area required. This design and assessment of the anaerobic treatment system was based on the model corn stover biorefinery wastewater, but this process is generalizable for any such wastewater. The detailed and rigorous design process described in this study can help produce more robust biorefinery TEAs and could help advance the financial viability of biofuel production.
Issue Date:2021-04-29
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/110750
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 George Kontos
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05


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