Resource Consumptions

The inputs of all non-renewable resources such as coal, oil and minerals are measured. They are weighted according to their expected lifetime and added. Oil has an expected lifetime of 40 years and therefore is weighted four times higher as coal with a lifetime of ca. 160 years. Renewables are considered to have an unlimited lifetime. The bio-route shows a 66% reduction on resources. Main advantages are: less oil, mainly because phenylacetic acid as a large oil-consuming agent, is omitted and less natural gas as source for generation of silylating agents (which is no longer required). The bio-based process consumes, surprisingly, 5% less sugar, reflecting the high process efficiency. The overall use of water is reduced by 90%! As most bio-based processes employ water as solvent, this is at first sight an unexpected outcome.

Energy Consumption

All renewable and non-renewable energy carriers are added according to their heating value, amounting to a reduction of 66% in the bio-route. Electricity consumption is reduced by 54% and steam consumption by 68%. Consequently less coal and natural gas at source are used as depletable source because of less process heat and on-site electricity generation. The reduced energy consumption has the largest impact on the total sustainability improvement: 17% out of a total of 64%. Resources and energy together represent half of the total effect.

Updated: December 18, 2015 — 1:08 pm