2004 Progress Report: Integrated Chemical Complex and Cogeneration Analysis System: Greenhouse Gas Management and Pollution Prevention Solutions

EPA Grant Number: R831276C014
Subproject: this is subproject number 014 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant CR831276
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Gulf Coast HSRC (Lamar)
Center Director: Ho, Tho C.
Title: Integrated Chemical Complex and Cogeneration Analysis System: Greenhouse Gas Management and Pollution Prevention Solutions
Investigators: Lou, Helen , Yaws, Carl L. , Pike, Ralph W.
Institution: Louisiana State University , Lamar University
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: December 1, 2003 through November 30, 2004
Project Period Covered by this Report: December 1, 2003 through November 30, 2004
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Gulf Coast Hazardous Substance Research Center (Lamar University) (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Targeted Research

Objective:

Global warming is caused by accelerative accumulation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These emissions should be mitigated if the problem of global warming is to be controlled. The United States accounts for 1,526 million metric tons carbon equivalent per year or about 24 percent of the global carbon dioxide emissions. For industrial emissions, petroleum, coal products, and the chemical industry are responsible for 175 of the 1,627 million metric tons carbon equivalent per year. Carbon dioxide emissions from these fossil fuel industries are from combustion gases and byproduct carbon dioxide mainly from synthesis gas but other sources, also. There is an excess of 120 million tons per year of high purity carbon dioxide from the exponential growth of ammonia production in the last 30 years that is discharged into the atmosphere in the United States. About 0.61 million metric tons per year of high purity carbon are vented from the plants in the chemical complex in the lower Mississippi River corridor. Also, another 19 million metric tons of relative high purity carbon dioxide is vented from refineries and other chemical plants in the United States that use hydrogen from synthesis gas. Approximately 110 million metric tons per year of carbon dioxide are used as a raw material for the production of urea, methanol, acetic acid, polycarbonates, cyclic carbonates, and specialty chemicals such as salicylic acid and carbamates. Other uses include enhanced oil recovery, solvent (supercritical carbon dioxide), refrigeration systems, carbonated beverages, fire extinguishers, and inert gas-purging systems.

Sustainable development is the development in which the needs of current generation are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Traditionally, industrial systems have been a major threat to environmental sustainability because they consume large amounts of natural resources and release hazardous wastes into the environment. Development of industrial ecosystems is one of the most promising approaches available for sustainable development of industries. In an industrial ecosystem, various industries come together for mutual benefits and are interconnected through mass and energy exchanges. These industries explore the opportunity of using each other’s byproduct, wastes, and products as raw materials to reduce the use of fresh resources as well as waste disposal. This is particularly important for excess high purity carbon dioxide being discharged to the atmosphere now.

As a new direction for the industry, sustainable development is to seek a balance among the economic, environmental, and societal aspects. Towards this mission, the industries need guidance for efficient use of resources, creating new businesses, and infrastructure to strengthen the economy while preserving the environment. Industrial ecosystem is an important approach for sustainable development. As life cycle analysis (LCA) can be used for a comparative environmental analysis of various design schemes for a process or plant, its application can be extended to make vital contributions towards the evaluation and design of highly sustainable industrial ecosystem as well.

In an industrial ecosystem, a group of industries are interconnected through mass and energy exchanges. These industries come together for mutual benefits exploring the opportunities for internal recycle of waste as well as external use/reuse of waste, products, and byproducts. Applying LCA to the members of an industrial ecosystem can provide comprehensive information about the environmental impacts of their products and the design and operational modifications needed to be more environmental friendly. Hence, it helps make rational decision to improve the overall sustainability.

Chemical complex optimization is a powerful methodology for plant and design engineers to convert their company’s goals and capital to viable projects that meet economic, environmental and sustainable requirements. The optimal configuration of plants in a chemical production complex is obtained by solving a mixed integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) problem. The chemical production complex of existing plants in the lower Mississippi River corridor was a base case for evaluating the additions of new plants that used carbon dioxide as a raw material. These results are applicable to other chemical production complexes in the world, including the ones in the Houston area (largest in the world), Antwerp port area (Belgium), BASF in Ludwigshafen (Germany), Petrochemical district of Camacari-Bahia (Brazil), the Singapore petrochemical complex in Jurong Island (Singapore), and Equate (Kuwait), among others.

The objectives of this research project are to identify and design new industrial processes that use carbon dioxide as a raw material and show how these processes could be integrated into existing chemical production complexes.

Progress Summary:

The chemical production complex in the lower Mississippi River corridor was used to demonstrate the integration of these new plants into an existing infrastructure. New processes were evaluated based on selection criteria, and simulations of these processes were performed using HYSYS simulation software. Then the optimal configuration of new and existing plants was determined by optimizing the triple bottom line based on economic, environmental, and sustainable costs using the Chemical Complex Analysis System.

A Chemical Complex and Cogeneration Analysis System was developed by industry-university collaboration to assist in overcoming growth and productivity limitations in the chemical industry by inefficient power generation and greenhouse gas emission constraints. Results from using the system demonstrated how new processes can be integrated into existing chemical complexes to convert greenhouse gases into useful products and to reduce energy consumption and emissions by cogeneration. This system is an advanced technology that determines the best configuration of plants in a chemical complex based on the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ total cost assessment (TCA) for economic, energy, environmental, and sustainable costs.

LCA perspective was integrated into TCA to facilitate the decision making. LCA is utilized for assessing the environmental performance of the product and process from “cradle to grave.” Development of industrial ecosystems is one of the most promising methods available for sustainable development of industrial systems. While developing such a symbiosis of industries, it is vital to evaluate the environmental impacts of this symbiosis beforehand. This would provide allowance for improving the design and establishing a more efficient industrial symbiosis. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency LCA methodology, Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical Impacts (TRACI), was used successfully to analyze the environmental impacts of an industrial ecosystem as can be seen from the results of the case study.

The results of this research are being used by corporate engineering groups for regional economic, energy, environmental, and sustainable development planning for energy efficient and environmentally acceptable plants. They are able to convert the company’s goals and capital into viable projects that are profitable and meet energy and environmental requirements by developing and applying a regional methodology for cogeneration and conversion of greenhouse gases to saleable products. Engineers have a new technology to consider projects in depths significantly beyond current capabilities

Fourteen new energy-efficient and environmentally acceptable catalytic processes were identified that can use excess high purity carbon dioxide as a raw material available in a chemical production complex. The complex in the lower Mississippi River Corridor was used to show how these new plants could be integrated into this existing infrastructure using the Chemical Complex Analysis System.

Eighty-six published articles of laboratory and pilot plant experiments were reviewed that describe new methods and catalysts to use carbon dioxide for producing commercially important products. A methodology for selecting the new energy-efficient processes was developed based on process operating conditions, energy requirements, catalysts, product demand and revenue, market penetration, and economic, environmental, and sustainable costs. Based on the methodology for selecting new processes, 20 were identified as candidates for new energy efficient and environmentally acceptable plants. These processes were simulated using HYSYS, and a value added economic analysis was evaluated for each process. From these, 14 of the most promising were integrated in a superstructure that included plants in the existing chemical production complex in the lower Mississippi River corridor (base case).

The optimum configuration of plants was determined based on the triple bottom line that includes sales, economic, environmental, and sustainable costs using the Chemical Complex Analysis System. From 18 new processes in the superstructure, the optimum structure had 7 new processes including acetic acid, graphite, formic acid, methylamines, propylene, and synthesis gas production. With the additional plants in the optimal structure the triple bottom line increased from $343 to $506 million per year and energy use increased from 2,150 to 5,791 TJ/year.

Multicriteria optimization has been used with Monte Carlo simulation to determine the sensitivity of prices, costs, and sustainability credits/cost to the optimal structure of a chemical production complex. In essence, for each Pareto optimal solution, there is a cumulative probability distribution function that is the probability as a function of the triple bottom line. This information provides a quantitative assessment of the optimum profit versus sustainable credits/cost and the risk (probability) that the triple bottom line will meet expectations.

The capabilities of the Chemical Complex Analysis System have been demonstrated, and this methodology could be applied to other chemical complexes in the world for reduced emissions and energy savings. The System was developed by industry-university collaboration, and the program with users manual and tutorial can be downloaded at no cost from the Louisiana State University Mineral Processing Research Institute’s Web site.

The existing chemical production complex in the lower Mississippi River corridor (base case) was used as an actual industrial ecosystem that was modeled as a multiobjective optimization problem. The study conducted shows that Hierarchical Pareto Optimization can be used successfully for economic and environmental analysis of industrial ecosystems. This methodology provided a modular structure for the entire analysis, which makes it very flexible. As each member industry is modeled as a separate module, it is easy to add a new industry or remove one industry while analyzing the industrial ecosystem. It also provided information about the economic as well as the environmental performance of each member industry at each members’ Pareto Optimal solution. This allowed a more comprehensive analysis of the industrial ecosystems for more sustainable economic and environmental development of all the member industries.

While developing such a symbiosis of industries, it was vital to evaluate the environmental impacts of this symbiosis beforehand. This provided allowance for improving the design and establishing a more efficient industrial symbiosis. Further, if the environmental impacts of each process that is to be implemented in the industrial ecosystem are analyzed before hand for various design schemes, more informed decisionmaking is possible.

A case study conducted during this research work shows that TRACI can be used successfully to analyze the environmental impacts of an industrial ecosystem. A TRACI analysis gave details of the contribution of each plant in each impact category. Further, it was used to conduct a comparative analysis of different design schemes. The case-study for various production schemes using the chemical production complex in the lower Mississippi River corridor was analyzed and compared. Studies of the tradeoffs between various impact categories for various production schemes determined the ones that were more effective. LCA analysis can help in selecting the best scheme for the sustainable development of industrial ecosystems.

Future Activities:

The methodologies and technologies generated during Year 1 of this project can be used in the development of economic, clean, and sustainable continuous processes for large-scale production of carbon nanotubes for advanced materials. These nanotube-manufacturing processes have all of the difficulties associated with the existing chemical processes, and all of the tools for pollution prevention and life cycle assessment can be used to assist in developing this new industry.


Journal Articles on this Report : 3 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 14 publications 3 publications in selected types All 3 journal articles
Other center views: All 64 publications 19 publications in selected types All 18 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Lou HH, Kulkarni MA, Singh A, Hopper JR. Sustainability assessment of industrial systems. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 2004;43(15):4233-4242. CR831276 (Final)
R831276C014 (2004)
  • Full-text: Lamar University - Full Text PDF
    Exit
  • Abstract: ACS - Abstract
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  • Journal Article Lou HH, Kulkarni MA, Singh A, Huang YL. A game theory based approach for emergy analysis of industrial ecosystem under uncertainty. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy 2004;6(3):156-161. CR831276 (Final)
    R831276C014 (2004)
  • Full-text: Lamar University - Full Text PDF
    Exit
  • Abstract: Springer - Abstract
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  • Journal Article Xu A, Indala S, Hertwig TA, Pike RW, Knopf FC, Yaws CL, Hopper JR. Development and integration of new processes consuming carbon dioxide in multi-plant chemical production complexes. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy 2005;7(2):97-115. CR831276 (Final)
    R831276C014 (2004)
  • Full-text: LSU - Full Text PDF
    Exit
  • Abstract: Springer - Abstract
    Exit
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    carbon dioxide, emissions life cycle assessment, chemical complex optimization, carbon nanotubes, waste, ecological risk assessment, environmental engineering, hazardous waste, advanced treatment technologies, bioremediation, contaminated waste sites, groundwater contamination, petroleum contaminants, hydrocarbon,, Scientific Discipline, Air, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Chemical Engineering, air toxics, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Environmental Chemistry, Air Pollutants, Energy, Chemistry and Materials Science, Ecology and Ecosystems, Chemicals Management, emission control strategies, life cycle analysis, environmentally friendly technology, clean technology, emission controls, alternative solvents, carbon dioxide, energy efficiency, NOx stripping, emissions control, life cycle assessment, economic analysis, alternatives to CFCs, chemical industry, cogeneration analysis, nitrogen oxides (Nox), air emissions, chemical amalysis, Total Cost Assessment, alternative chemical synthesis, environmentally-friendly chemical synthesis, green chemistry

    Relevant Websites:

    http://dept.lamar.edu/gchsrc/ Exit
    http://www.mpri.lsu.edu Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • Final

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    CR831276    Gulf Coast HSRC (Lamar)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
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