Multi-objective optimization of biomass based ammonia production - potential and perspective in different countries

Pratham Arora, Andrew F.A. Hoadley, Sanjay M. Mahajani, Anuradda Ganesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


More environmentally-benign processes are required for the production of important chemicals such as ammonia. Techno-enviro-economic studies that utilize process modeling and optimization play a decisive role in predicting the viability of these processes, but they tend to focus on a single geographical location. This limits the usefulness of the results from such studies, because it is hard to compare results for different feedstock and location factors. Thus, the present study compares the economics and environmental potential of several variations of a novel biomass-based ammonia production process in different locations. The process is simulated for three biomass feedstocks grown in Australia, Brazil, and India. A comprehensive economic analysis and life cycle assessment is performed for the different process variants. A Multi-Objective Optimization (MOO) approach is used to minimize the manufacturing costs and the environmental impacts of the biomass-to-ammonia process specific to each feedstock and country. The Indian scenario was found to be the most favorable economically, whereas the Brazilian scenario had the lowest greenhouse gas potential. The results demonstrate that each type of biomass is specific to its location and both the economic and environmental profiles are strongly related to the location. The results of the individual studies are superimposed to provide a Global Pareto Front for the cost and environmental impact of the production of ammonia from biomass. This provides a very useful resource for future researchers who can compare results for alternative biomass, locations and processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-374
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Multi-objective optimization
  • Biomass gasification
  • Ammonia
  • Economic analysis
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Different feedstocks

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