Optimization of Novel Hybrid Coal, Biomass, and Natural Gas Energy Process Under Input, Output and Electricity Price Uncertainty

Sun, Chengyue [Browse]
Senior thesis
31 pages


Floudas, Christodoulos A. [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering [Browse]
Class year
Restrictions note
Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Summary note
The main source of transportation fuel production in the US is crude oil; however, the need to import crude oil could cause problems in the future due to the unstable oil prices and possible embargoes from major exporting countries. The H2CAR process provides an alternative to produce gasoline, kerosene and diesel using biomass, coal and natural gas and thus can decrease US crude oil imports. This paper studies how uncertainties in the feedstock and product prices affect the process inputs, design and cost. Price distributions for the species are calculated, nominal case studies of minimizing the cost and maximizing the profit of the facility are performed, and additional constraints are added to Baliban et al’s existing model to establish a robust optimization framework. Nominal case results show that only biomass and natural gas feedstocks are used; thus, the facility does not need to output electricity to compensate for the high greenhouse gas emissions that using coal would have caused. In the maximization of profit cases, an increase in gasoline production from the minimization of cost cases due to the removal of the production proportions constraint indicates that gasoline is the product with the highest profit margin. Most importantly, the results show that the facility is expected to make a significant profit, and thus could be commercially competitive.

Supplementary Information