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A composite efficiency metrics for evaluation of resource and energy utilization

Publication date: Available online 3 October 2013
Author(s): Siyu Yang , Qingchun Yang , Yu Qian
Polygeneration systems are commonly found in chemical and energy industry. These systems often involve chemical conversions and energy conversions. Studies of these systems are interdisciplinary, mainly involving fields of chemical engineering, energy engineering, environmental science, and economics. Each of these fields has developed an isolated index system different from the others. Analyses of polygeneration systems are therefore very likely to provide bias results with only the indexes from one field. This paper is motivated from this problem to develop a new composite efficiency metrics for polygeneration systems. This new metrics is based on the second law of thermodynamics, exergy theory. We introduce exergy cost for waste treatment as the energy penalty into conventional exergy efficiency. Using this new metrics could avoid the situation of spending too much energy for increasing production or paying production capacity for saving energy consumption. The composite metrics is studied on a simplified co-production process, syngas to methanol and electricity. The advantage of the new efficiency metrics is manifested by comparison with carbon element efficiency, energy efficiency, and exergy efficiency. Results show that the new metrics could give more rational analysis than the other indexes.

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