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Bioresource Technology
Vol. 204, 2016, Pages: 55–64

Techno-economic evaluation of a complete bioprocess for 2,3-butanediol production from renewable resources

Apostolis A. Koutinas, Bernardo Yepez, Nikolaos Kopsahelis, Denise M.G. Freire, Aline Machado de Castro, Seraphim Papanikolaou, Ioannis K. Kookos

Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, 11855 Athens, Greece.


This study presents the techno-economic evaluation of 2,3-butanediol (BDO) production via fermentation using glycerol, sucrose and sugarcane molasses as carbon sources. Literature-cited experimental data were used to design the fermentation stage, whereas downstream separation of BDO was based on reactive extraction of BDO employing an aldehyde to convert BDO into an acetal that is immiscible with water. The selected downstream process can be used in all fermentations employed. Sensitivity analysis was carried out targeting the estimation of the minimum selling price (MSP) of BDO at different plant capacities and raw material purchase costs. In all cases, the MSP of BDO is higher than 1 $/kg that is considered as the target in order to characterize a fermentation product as platform chemical. The complex nutrient supplements, the raw material market price and the fermentation efficiency were identified as the major reasons for the relatively high MSP observed.

Keywords: Bioprocess design; 2,3-Butanediol; Fermentation; Minimum selling price; Sensitivity analysis.

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