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Techno-economic assessment of scale-up of bio-flocculant extraction and production by using okra as biomass feedstock

Lee, Chai Siah; Chong, Mei Fong; Binner, Eleanor; Gomes, Rachel L.; Robinson, John P.


Chai Siah Lee

Mei Fong Chong

Professor of Water & Resource Processing


This paper reports a techno-economic assessment for industrial scale bio-flocculant production with okra as biomass feedstock. The sludge dewatering ability of the bio-flocculant was evaluated prior to economic analysis. Several optimisation strategies were investigated in order to lower the bio-flocculant production cost. The results showed that continuous mode microwave extraction was more economically beneficial than conventional extraction in batch and continuous modes. Sensitivity analysis revealed that the production cost was significantly affected by annual production and extract yield, and moderately influenced by raw material price. The optimised scheme for bio-flocculant production was continuous mode microwave extraction at 90° C, a residence time of 10 minutes, a water loading of 3.5 w/w and production rate of 220 tonnes per year. The economic assessment showed that the gross margin was positive, return on investment was in the expected range of 20 to 30% and payback time was within 5 years.


Lee, C. S., Chong, M. F., Binner, E., Gomes, R. L., & Robinson, J. P. (2018). Techno-economic assessment of scale-up of bio-flocculant extraction and production by using okra as biomass feedstock. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 132,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 27, 2018
Online Publication Date Feb 3, 2018
Publication Date Apr 30, 2018
Deposit Date Apr 5, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 4, 2019
Journal Chemical Engineering Research and Design
Print ISSN 0263-8762
Electronic ISSN 1744-3563
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 132
Keywords Extraction; Okra bio-flocculant; Sludge dewatering; SuperPro Designer; Economic analysis; Scale-up
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:


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