Technoeconomic Sensibility Analysis of Industrial Agar Production from Red Algae
Herrera-Rodriguez, Tamy
Parejo-Palacio, Vianny
Gonzalez-Delgado, Angel D.
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Herrera-Rodriguez T., Parejo-Palacio V., Gonzalez-Delgado A.D., 2018, Technoeconomic Sensibility Analysis of Industrial Agar Production from Red Algae , Chemical Engineering Transactions, 70, 2029-2034.
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Red algae are one of the three main groups of macroalgae, these are found mainly in marine ecosystems and are used for the elaboration of foods, cosmetics, among others. Macroalgae of the genus Gracilaria sp. They are one of the sources of agar production, a polysaccharide formed by different units of galactose, which are associated forming two different polysaccharides, agarose and agaropectin. Because the agar has several purposes, it is appropriate to evaluate the economic response of the production. In this work was developed the economic evaluation and the technoeconomic sensibility analysis of the industrial production of agar from red algae, using the evaporation route, which employs seven units of operation, in order to analyze the behavior of the process when changer occur in the technoeconomic environment of the process as break-even point, on-stream efficiency, raw material cost, among others. Results show that for a processing capacity of 8,640 t/y of macroalgae with a plant life of 15 y, the total capital investment (TCI) was $11,937,000 and fixed capital investment (FCI) was $7,022,000 for a plant located in North Colombia. In addition, annualized total operating costs (AOC) were calculated in $24,514,000. Critical technoeconomic variables were raw material costs, product selling price and normalized variable operating costs (NVOC).
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