Technoeconomic analysis of large scale production of pre-emergent Pseudomonas fluorescens microbial bioherbicide in Canada.

Mupondwa, E.K., Li, X., Boyetchko, S.M., Hynes, R.K., and Geissler, H.J. (2015). "Technoeconomic analysis of large scale production of pre-emergent Pseudomonas fluorescens microbial bioherbicide in Canada.", Bioresource Technology, 175, pp. 517-528. doi : 10.1016/j.biortech.2014.10.130  Access to full text

Abstract

The study presents an ex ante technoeconomic analysis of commercial production of Pseudomonas fluorescens BRG100 bioherbicide in Canada. An engineering economic model is designed in SuperPro Designer® to investigate capital investment scaling and profitability. Total capital investment for a stand-alone BRG100 fermentation plant at baseline capacity (two 33,000 L fermenters; 3602 tonnes annum-1) is $17.55 million. Total annual operating cost is $14.76 million. Raw materials account for 50% of operating cost. The fermentation plant is profitable over wide operating scale, evaluated over a range of BRG100 prices and costs of capital. Smaller plants require higher NPV breakeven prices. However, larger plants are more sensitive to changes in the cost of capital. Unit production costs decrease as plant capacity increases, indicating scale economies. A plant operating for less than one year approaches positive NPV for periods as low as 2 months. These findings can support bioherbicide R&D investment and commercialization strategies.

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