Microalgae-based biomass are an emerging technology and an alternative source to biofuels. It has a high lipid content and is composed of other biocompounds which is essential for high-valued products. The biorefinery concept is a means to efficiently convert microalgae into biofuels and other high-value products. However, biorefineries require large capital investments that must be wisely planned and decided across the lives of the investments. This study proposes a multi-period multi-objective mixed integer non-linear programming (MINLP) model that simultaneously maximizes net present value (NPV) and minimizes greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through optimal investment scheduling and operational decisions of an algal biorefinery. The model capabilities are demonstrated through an illustrative case study and scenario analysis.
Keywords algal biorefinery, mixed integer non-linear programming (MINLP), multi-objective optimization