Integration of 1st and 2nd generation plants will lead to higher crop utilization and could be beneficial from an energy point of view. Integration can be done in a variety of different process configurations, depending on the ingoing material and desired co-products. The process can be modeled as two stand-alone plants supplied with energy from the 2nd generation process, or by full integration of the two processes. Depending on configuration, different energy-demanding steps will occur and thus possibilities to integrate different heat sources or sinks in the processes.
These factors are considered in this study, based on laboratory trials, to identify and improve the energy utilization in combined 1st and 2nd generation processes by flowsheet simulations in Aspen Plus.