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Estimation of Energy Consumption in Chemical Processes

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Researcher and consultant at EMC Innovation Lab s.r.l., Viale Italia 29, 47921 Rimini (RN), Italy
Interests: LCA; green chemistry; bio-based industry; early stage assessment; carbon and water footprint; energy from biomass; industrial symbiosis; industrial ecology; water-energy nexus; sustainable productions and waste management

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Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Chemistry “Toso Montanari”, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Interests: environmental chemistry; chemistry of cultural heritage; life cycle assessment (LCA)
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on the methodologies to evaluate the energy requirements in the synthesis of innovative chemicals at both laboratory and industrial scale. In fact, energy data for synthesis (e.g. electric and heat provision during reaction, distillation and separation requirements, etc.) are required to perform life cycle evaluation of the environmental and economic sustainability. This holistic approach (e.g. Life Cycle Assessment - LCA) is requested since necessary to identify direct and embodied burdens due to the synthetic pathway and assess the overall footprint. Unfortunately, this procedure is far from easy, since the identification of the energy flows involved in the chemical synthesis represents one of the hardest part of the LCA studies for different reasons.

First, in general this kind of information are part of industrial confidentiality, in particular when the synthesis is carried out at industrial scale. Second, sometimes LCA practitioners are not familiar with the energetic balances within a chemical reactor or plant and several expertise are required. Third, no adequate methodology to estimate energy requirements has been proposed yet in literature to support a life cycle study of a chemical product, in particular in the case of bio-based commodities. Four, in many cases new chemical processes have been developed only at early stage and the modelling of the same process at the industrial scale cannot rely on direct measurements, but only on estimations. Therefore, in order to support researchers in making the right choices during the LCA simulation, an innovative set of scientific tools are required to support the assessment of the sustainability in the synthesis of new chemicals. Manuscripts describing the development of innovative and simple methodologies to evaluate the energetic requirements of chemicals (in particular bio-based commodities) and support life cycle evaluation at both laboratory and industrial scale are highly welcome. Papers submitted to this Special Issue will be subject to a peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of their contents.

Dr. Daniele Cespi
Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Passarini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • energy consumption
  • chemical synthesis
  • industrial processes
  • laboratory scale
  • LCA
  • process modeling

Published Papers (1 paper)

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23 pages, 4133 KiB  
Integrating Life Cycle Inventory and Process Design Techniques for the Early Estimate of Energy and Material Consumption Data
by Serena Righi, Filippo Baioli, Alessandro Dal Pozzo and Alessandro Tugnoli
Energies 2018, 11(4), 970; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11040970 - 18 Apr 2018
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 5803
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a powerful tool to identify direct and indirect environmental burdens associated with products, processes and services. A critical phase of the LCA methodology is the collection of representative inventory data for the energy and material streams related to [...] Read more.
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a powerful tool to identify direct and indirect environmental burdens associated with products, processes and services. A critical phase of the LCA methodology is the collection of representative inventory data for the energy and material streams related to the production process. In the evaluation of new and emerging chemical processes, measured data are known only at laboratory scale and may have limited connection to the environmental footprint of the same process implemented at industrial scale. On the other hand, in the evaluation of processes already established at commercial scale, the availability of process data might be hampered by industrial confidentiality. In both cases, the integration of simple process design techniques in the LCA can contribute to overcome the lack of primary data, allowing a more correct quantification of the life cycle inventory. The present paper shows, through the review of case study examples, how simplified process design, modeling and simulation can support the LCA framework to provide a preliminary estimate of energy and material consumption data suitable for environmental assessment purposes. The discussed case studies illustrate the implementation of process design considerations to tackle availability issues of inventory data in different contexts. By evidencing the case-specific nature of the problem of preliminary conceptual process design, the study calls for a closer collaboration of process design experts and life cycle analysts in the green development of new products and processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Estimation of Energy Consumption in Chemical Processes)
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