Advanced fuels from ethanol-a superstructure optimization approach

Juan Manuel Restrepo-Flórez, Christos T. Maravelias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We develop a superstructure framework for the design of biorefineries for ethanol upgrading into advanced biofuels to replace gasoline, jet fuel or diesel. The framework integrates catalysis, process synthesis, and fuel property modelling towards the design of biorefineries producing fuels with specified properties. The proposed framework is applied to identify strategies for the upgrading of ethanol into one or more fuels with specific properties. We discuss the trade-off between profit and biorefinery complexity, as well as the relation among fuel property constraints, the optimal upgrading strategy selected, and process economics. Finally, we show how to find the optimal biorefinery associated with a particular chemistry or catalyst. The results presented constitute the first systematic study of ethanol upgrading considering, simultaneously, fuel and process design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-506
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Pollution


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