DS03 - Stimuler le renouveau industriel

Agility foR BioREfineries – ARBRE

Agility foR BioREfineries – ARBRE

The research project ARBRE aims to design an agile biorefinery, able to meet the challenges regarding supply, quality and demand. <br /> <br />ARBRE is an interdisciplinary project calling for skills in process engineering, industrial engineering and information systems. It relies on the theory of inter-organisational collaboration and knowledge management.

Uncertainty calls for agility!

The report #380 addressed to the French Senate in 2016 regarding the french strategy about bioeconomy shows the difficulty to set up biorefineries and their weaknesses facing uncertainties. Producing more efficiently and ecologically, from the field to finished products through the process is a key challenge for the future. While the development of biorefineries has been increased in the past years, it is still constrained by numerous hurdles like production irregularities (quality and quantity), difficult territorial anchoring, dispersion, and variety of supply and nervousness. Plus, biorefinery is an extremely specialized system, regarding the process, the raw materials, and the products resulting from processing. This is another barrier to adapt the biorefinery to face variabilities and to set up plants. The industrial scaling-up of pilots is another hurdle to set up innovative processes, with respect to the physicochemical, economic and financial considerations. Finally, the biomass process treatment requires heavy initial financial investments and generates significant operating costs, whereas the variability of supply threatens the proper functioning of the biorefinery. <br />The problem underlying these observations stems from the need to provide agility to biorefineries, both at the physical system and information system levels. Indeed, the production process must be rethought by incorporating concepts from the Industry of the Future. This will stimulate the industrial development of biorefineries by exchanging with the socio-economic world and improving its competitiveness. On the scientific level, the ARBRE project is interested in characterizing and designing an agile biorefinery, breaking with the traditional and fixed structure inherited from the petroleum-based chemistry area.

The aim is to propose an innovative view of the structure of the biorefinery where the transformation process is distributed over different plants.
Each operation of the process is servitized, existing production units and equipment are reused and the adaptation of the process to face uncertainties is made easier. This virtual biorefinery results from the collaboration of the actors (harvesters, production sites, consumers) depending on the chosen treatment process and the targeted bioproduct. The roles and the involvement of the actors can change to adapt to the objectives and constraints of the moment.
This innovative vision also facilitates the search for new solutions adapted to variability. It becomes more likely to create alternative processes depending on the used biomass, the sought bio-sourced products or the requirements like cost, processing time, etc. The setting up of the process is then done by selecting the actors' services that are compliant with these constraints.
This vision ties in with the process and the whole collaborative network, and is made up of two phases:
• Design phase: designing an innovative treatment process and its associated virtual biorefinery, in line with the ecosystem at time t0.
• Runtime phase: variabilities and uncertainties must be modelled and detected so that the process and/or the entire network are adapted accordingly.

The main theories and concepts used in this project are:
• Model-Driven Engineering
• Knowledge Management
• Business Process Modelling
• Complex Event Processing

As of May 2019, the main results are :
• An organisational and structural view of the agile biorefinery modelled through the Agile Biorefinery Meta-Model (Houngbé et al., 2019)
• The presentation of the project and the results:
•• At the national level: Journées de l’Interopérabilité des Applications d’Entreprise 2018 and 2019 of the Pôle Grand Sud-Ouest of the InterOp-VLab;
•• At the international level: conferences MOSIM 2018, PRO-VE 2018, ESCAPE 2019 (accepted), PRO-VE 2019 (accepted). The proceedings of the ESCAPE and PRO-VE conferences are indexed into the Web Of Science database.

This project aims to go beyond the silo and disciplinary vision of the ecosystem of matter and energy processing. The objective is to develop a more global vision to identify the possible synergies by using ICT to improve the efficiency of the dynamics and of all the functions of the collaborative network and its interactions with its ecosystem.
The project aims to develop, throughout the five subprojects spread over a period of four years, a methodological framework and its software prototype. The latter will be validated on real case studies (involving various territories) provided by SOLAGRO (a company expert in biomass processing, and a member of the ARBRE steering committee).

Houngbé, M., Barthe-Delanoë, A. M., & Négny, S. (2018, September). Towards Virtual Biorefineries. In Working Conference on Virtual Enterprises (pp. 571-580). Springer, Cham.

Houngbé, M., Barthe-Delanoë, A. M., & Négny, S. (2018, June). Apport

The report #380 addressed to the French Senate in 2016 regarding the french strategy about bioeconomy shows the difficulty to set up biorefineries and their weaknesses facing uncertainties. Producing more efficiently and ecologically, from the field to finished products through the process is a key challenge for the future. While the development of biorefineries has been increased in the past years, it is still constrained by numerous hurdles like production irregularities (quality and quantity), difficult territorial anchoring, dispersion, and variety of supply and nervousness. Plus, biorefinery is an extremely specialized system, regarding the process, the raw materials, and the products resulting from processing. This is another barrier to adapt the biorefinery to face variabilities and to set up plants. The industrial scaling-up of pilots is another hurdle to set up innovative processes, with respect to the physicochemical, economic and financial considerations. Finally, the biomass process treatment requires heavy initial financial investments and generates significant operating costs, whereas the variability of supply threatens the proper functioning of the biorefinery.
The problem underlying these observations stems from the need to provide agility to biorefineries, both at the physical system and information system levels. Indeed, the production process must be rethought by incorporating concepts from the Industry of the Future. This will stimulate the industrial development of biorefineries by exchanging with the socio-economic world and improving its competitiveness. On the scientific level, the ARBRE project is interested in characterizing and designing an agile biorefinery, breaking with the traditional and fixed structure inherited from the petroleum-based chemistry area. The aim is to propose an innovative view of the structure of the biorefinery where the transformation process is distributed over different plants.
Each operation of the process is servitized, existing production units and equipment are reused and the adaptation of the process to face uncertainties is made easier. This virtual biorefinery results from the collaboration of the actors (harvesters, production sites, consumers) depending on the chosen treatment process and the targeted bioproduct. The roles and the involvement of the actors can change to adapt to the objectives and constraints of the moment.
This innovative vision also facilitates the search for new solutions adapted to variability. It becomes more likely to create alternative processes depending on the used biomass, the sought biosourced products or the requirements like cost, processing time, etc. The set up of the process is then done by selecting the actors' services that are compliant with these constraints.
This vision ties in with the process and the whole collaborative network, and is made up of two phases:
• Design phase: designing an innovative treatment process and its associated virtual biorefinery, in line with the ecosystem at time t0.
• Runtime phase: variabilities and uncertainties must be modeled and detected, so that the process and/or the entire network are adapted accordingly.
This project aims to go beyond the silo and disciplinary vision of the ecosystem of matter and energy processing. The objective is to develop a more global vision to identify the possible synergies by using ICT to improve the efficiency of the dynamics and of all the functions of the collaborative network and its interactions with its ecosystem.
The project aims to develop, throughout the five subprojects spread over a period of four years, a methodological framework and its software prototype. The latter will be validated on real case studies (involving various territories) provided by SOLAGRO (a company expert in biomass processing, and a member of the ARBRE steering committee).

Project coordinator

Madame Anne-Marie BARTHE-DELANOË (Laboratoire de génie chimique)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

LGC Laboratoire de génie chimique
SOLAGRO SOLAGRO

Help of the ANR 219,672 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: November 2017 - 48 Months

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