A decision-support framework for techno-economic-sustainability assessment of resource recovery alternatives

Dominic Silk, Beatrice Mazzali, Carina L. Gargalo, Manuel Pinelo, Isuru A. Udugama, Seyed Soheil Mansouri

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The careful consideration of technology readiness, economics and sustainability holds the key to identifying and then transitioning a resource recovery opportunity into actual implemented solution. Currently this decision-making process is carried out based on in-house experience of stake-holders as there is no established framework that can be followed. This work presents a systematic computer-aided decision-support framework to tackle challenges faced when attempting to identify and develop resource recovery projects. The framework is hierarchical and combines key evaluation aspects in one integrated approach. The framework will enable industries transition towards more sustainable production, providing users with the opportunity to evaluate and support decisions on not only a financial basis, but also from a comprehensive techno-economic and sustainability angle. To this end, the framework collects relevant aspects within the sustainability field and addresses concepts such as circular economy, resource recovery, and waste management. This research also aims to add additional relevant inputs for increasing the possibilities to reach the scope of cleaner production. The proposed methodology is generic and can be applied to a wide variety of potential resource recovery projects. The application of the framework is highlighted through an industrial case study of the monosaccharide recovery from wheat straw liquor in bio-refinery setting.
Original languageEnglish
Article number121854
JournalJournal of cleaner production
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Resource recovery
  • Circular economy
  • Commercialisation
  • Technology
  • Environment
  • Techno-economics


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