Technoeconomic Assessment of Recycling Routes for Chemicals: A Case Study of n-Hexane
Pimentel, Jean
Ruiz-Mercado, Gerardo
Friedler, Ferenc

How to Cite

Pimentel J., Ruiz-Mercado G., Friedler F., 2023, Technoeconomic Assessment of Recycling Routes for Chemicals: A Case Study of n-Hexane, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 103, 349-354.


The circular economy has become one of the most popular topics in worldwide sustainability research. The imperious necessity of reducing resource consumption and decreasing waste generation has led to reincorporating materials at the end-of-life (EoL) stage into the productive chain. Nonetheless, the presence of hazardous substances in the EoL stage materials poses a significant challenge for the transition toward the production model. The adequate transformation of these materials into feedstocks requires their correct allocation into recovery plants and final destinations. Such an allocation can be decided by resorting to optimisation by generating the best alternative networks, from where the stakeholders may decide the most suitable recycling scheme. In this work, a graph-theoretic approach is introduced to identify the best alternatives to reincorporate industrial EoL chemicals into the productive chain. This contribution presents the initial approach to this problem, demonstrated through a case study considering the data reported on the public-access release inventory data for n-hexane. Different recycling routes are proposed for the case study by optimising the total treatment cost, and their advantages and disadvantages are discussed; moreover, their efficiency concerning the circular economy is measured by comparing the amount of recovered chemicals. By generating plausible recycling alternatives, this work contributes positively to analysing potential alternatives for circular economy and resource conservation in industry.