Virtual Engineering of Low-Temperature Conversion

Research output: NRELPresentation


In this work, we present the development of an overarching software framework and supporting multiphysics models to simulate the end-to-end process of biomass conversion. This virtual engineering (VE) software is designed with the goal of accelerating research and development and reducing risk for market-relevant biomass conversion processes. We currently support multiple models, computing paradigms, and fidelities representing the steps of feedstock pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and bioconversion. Although this VE approach was developed to support a biomass workflow, we have designed each component in a way that allows us to easily support new domains, unit models, and feedstocks. We begin by presenting the user-facing aspects of the VE software and highlight how simulated elements are defined and linked by VE functions. We then present an overview of the high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models developed to support our target domain before segueing into our efforts to develop accurate and fast surrogate models, capturing the salient outcomes from the CFD simulations in a significantly less computationally demanding manner. We then present how VE calculations interface with a commercial techno-economic analysis software, Aspen Plus. We conclude by presenting VE case studies that leverage these methods and discuss how our methods can be extended to support a wide variety of accelerated biofuel commercialization pathways in the future.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2023 U.S. Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Project Peer Review, 3-7 April 2023, Denver, Colorado

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-2C00-85573


  • biofuel
  • bioreaction
  • conversion
  • modeling
  • pretreatment


Dive into the research topics of 'Virtual Engineering of Low-Temperature Conversion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this