Machine Learning Reduced Order Model for Cost and Emission Assessment of a Pyrolysis System

Passalacqua, Alberto
Subramaniam, Shankar
Olafasakin, Olumide
Chang, Yahan
Passalacqua, Alberto
Subramaniam, Shankar
Brown, Robert
Wright, Mark
Brown, Robert
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Mechanical EngineeringChemical and Biological EngineeringAgricultural and Biosystems EngineeringBioeconomy Institute (BEI)

Biomass pyrolysis is a promising approach for producing economic and environmentally friendly fuels and bioproducts. Biomass pyrolysis experiments show that feedstock properties have a significant impact on product yields and composition. Scientists are developing detailed chemical reaction mechanisms to capture the relationships between biomass composition and pyrolysis yields. These mechanisms can be computationally intensive. In this study, we investigate the use of a machine learning reduced order model (ROM) for assessing the costs and emissions of a pyrolysis biorefinery. We developed a Kriging-based ROM to predict pyrolysis yields of 314 feedstock samples based on the results of a detailed chemical kinetic pyrolysis mechanism. The ROM is integrated into a chemical process model for calculating mass and energy yields in a commercial-scale (2000 tonne/day) biorefinery. The ROM estimated biofuel yields of 65 to 130 gallons per ton of dry biomass. This results in biofuel minimum fuel-selling prices of $2.62–$5.43 per gallon and emissions of −13.62 to 145 kg of CO2 per MJ. The ROM achieved an average mean square error of 1.8 × 10–20 and a mean absolute error of 0.53%. These results suggest that ROMs can facilitate rapid feedstock screening for biorefinery systems.


This document is the unedited Author’s version of a Submitted Work that was subsequently accepted for publication in Energy & Fuels, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review. To access the final edited and published work see DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.1c00490. Posted with permission.