Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Publications

Campus Units

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Biorenewable Resources and Technology, Environmental Science, Sustainable Agriculture, Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites, Center for Crops Utilization Research

Document Type


Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Journal of Cleaner Production

Research Focus Area(s)

Biological and Process Engineering and Technology




With increasing environmental concerns with respect to the petroleum-based adhesive production process, bio-based adhesive has been explored as a promising replacement. The purpose of this paper was to explore the economic feasibility of structural bio-adhesives made from glycerol, a byproduct of biodiesel production. SuperPro Designer software was employed to perform the techno-economic analysis. Several key parameters were analyzed, such as total capital investment, annual operating costs and revenues. It was found that the unit production cost of structural bio-adhesives ($2.45/kg) was compatible with that in the current market. Three different scenarios were built to investigate the worst-case scenario and the best-case scenario associated with this production process. Sensitivity analysis was also performed to evaluate the key parameters significantly influencing the economic result. In this study, material cost was determined to be the most significant factor throughout the production process. Discounted cash flow analysis was conducted to explore the influence of the time value of money. The minimum selling price obtained was $3.11/kg for this bioadhesive production process. Underlying issues and areas needed for improvement were also discussed in this study.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Yang, Minliang, and Kurt A. Rosentrater. "Techno-economic analysis of the production process of structural bio-adhesive derived from glycerol." Journal of Cleaner Production (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.04.288. Posted with permission.



Copyright Owner

Elsevier Ltd.



File Format


Published Version