Biofuel generation integrated in industrial processes

General information

Type: Master project
Period: Autumn 2019
Project directors: Prof. François Maréchal (IPESE-EPFL)
Assistants: Julia Granacher, Maziar Kermani (IPESE-EPFL)
Related project: Pulp&Fuel – Pulp and paper industry wastes to fuel

Energy systems should ensure a continuous economic growth and an environmentally and socially sustainable future. They require to not only incorporate energy-efficient technologies, but also need to be well–integrated with other processes and be optimized with respect to system configurations.

The cogeneration of heat and fuel is a promising option to valorize residuals from industrial processes. They store the excess energy in the fuel and generate heat, while using excess electricity from renewable resources.

The pulp and paper industry is one of the most energy intensive industrial sectors in the European Union. Since the pulp and paper demand is increasing in a global perspective, it is crucial to address the reduction of energy and resources by this sector. Black liquor is the main residual chemical in the pulp and paper industry. Instead of burning it in a recovery boiler for the generation of process heat, it can be converted to fuel and at the same time, provide heat to the industrial processes.

Project description

Your task (should you choose to accept it) will be to develop a model of different conversion pathways from biomass to biofuel that can be integrated into the pulp and paper industry. In a first step, a literature review will be performed for relevant biomass conversion technologies.

Secondly, existing models will be modified and missing components will be modeled. In a case study, thermo-economic and environmental analysis of the biomass conversion pathways will be performed applying energy integration and optimization of different process configurations.

You should bring…

  • Experience in working with flowsheeting software (e.g. Belsim Vali, Aspen) and motivation to improve your skills
  • Experience in using programming languages (e.g. Matlab, Lua, python) and motivation to improve your modeling skills
  • General knowledge about energy systems and biomass conversion technologies (for example EPFL classes: Thermo I/II, Energy conversion, Advanced energetics, Modelling and optimization of energy systems…)
  • A high level of motivation to work independently in a structured and organized way
  • Good communication skills

How to apply

If interested, please take contact with Julia Granacher attaching your CV, Cover Letter and transcript of records (Bachelor’s and Master’s).

Practical information

The IPESE laboratory is located in the Sion EPFL campus. Travels from Lausanne to Sion are compensated by EPFL.