First generation surrogate models for sustainability assessment of biobased chemical production and integrated biorefineries
Research Project , 2015 – 2016

Surrogate models are simple algebraic meta-models with a multi-functional, explanatory and exploratory role in the substitution of rigorous, yet often cumbersome to use in decision-making and optimization, process models to a required accuracy and revealing the underlying functional relationships between process parameters and key performance indicators. This project aims at a first generation of surrogate models for sustainability assessment in early and conceptual design stages of biomass based chemical production and integrated biorefineries. The models will utilize available information at the respective design stages, such as molecular descriptors and physical properties of the compound or mixture of compounds produced in dedicated or integrated biorefineries, generic chemical and process synthesis information, the degree of heat and mass integration, the level of process flexibility and the technological maturity to provide estimations about performance indicators with respect to process costing, LCA and SHE hazard assessment. The surrogate models will be developed on the basis of available rigorous process models and data from synergies with running projects in Chalmers (BioBUF, financed by FORMAS) and ETHZ (Wood2Chem, financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation) as well as various partners and projects in the field of biomass utilization (e.g., BIOCORE (FP7, NTUA), RENESENG (FP7, NTUA, DTU)). The project will also provide estimations for a wide list of indicators from the GREENSOPE taxonomy (US-EPA). The surrogate models will support policy decision makers, LCA practitioners, process engineers and decision-makers in industry and will also contribute to a guidance of R&D activities between industry and academia to the most promising technology directions in biomass utilization from a holistic sustainability point of view.


Stavros Papadokonstantakis (contact)

Docent vid Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology


Västra Götalandsregionen, Regional development committee

Funding Chalmers participation during 2015–2016

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

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