Techno-economic evaluation of a biorefinery applying food waste for sophorolipid production – A case study for Hong Kong

Huaimin Wang, Chi Wing Tsang, Ming Ho To, Guneet KAUR, Sophie L.K.W. Roelants, Christian V. Stevens, Wim Soetaert, Carol Sze Ki Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study evaluates the techno-economic feasibility of sophorolipid (SL) production process that co-utilizes food waste, glucose and oleic acid as substrates. Two variables are considered in terms of (a) Plant construction: Purchasing equipment either from the US or Mainland China and (b) Production: to produce SL crystals (about 97% active) or a concentrated SL liquid/syrup (about 78% active). Hence, four scenarios are generated: Scenario I: equipment made in the USA + SL crystals; Scenario II: equipment made in the USA + SL syrup; Scenario III: equipment made in China + SL crystals; Scenario IV: equipment made in China + SL syrup. It is found that all scenarios are economically feasible and Scenario I has the highest net profit. Scenario III has the highest internal rate of return, net present value and the shortest payback period at a 7% discount rate. Finally, comparison of food waste-related techno-economic studies was conducted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122852
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume303
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

User-Defined Keywords

  • Food waste
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Sophorolipid
  • Starmerella bombicola
  • Techno-economic assessment

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