Synthesis of Distributed Biorefining Networks for the Value-Added Processing of Water Hyacinth Academic Article uri icon


  • Water hyacinth causes severe ecological problems in the infested water bodies. Several strategies have been proposed to eliminate this plant. Nevertheless, most of them have not been economically attractive. This paper proposes a general superstructure and a mathematical programming model for the sustainable elimination of water hyacinth through a distributed biorefining network. The proposed model optimizes the selection of the products, the siting and sizing for the processing facilities, and the selection of the markets, while accounting for technical and economic constraints. A case study for the central part of Mexico, where water hyacinth is a serious problem, is used to show the applicability of the proposed holistic approach. The results show that an optimally synthesized distributed biorefining network is capable of sustainable and economic elimination of water hyacinth from contaminated water bodies while generating value. Additionally, the results shown through Pareto curves allow the identification of a set of optimal solutions featuring trade-offs between economic and environmental objectives. 2012 American Chemical Society.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Ezequiel Santibanez-Aguilar, J., Maria Ponce-Ortega, J., Betzabe Gonzalez-Campos, J., Serna-Gonzalez, M., & El-Hawagi, M. M.

citation count

  • 37

complete list of authors

  • Ezequiel Santibanez-Aguilar, Jose||Maria Ponce-Ortega, Jose||Betzabe Gonzalez-Campos, J||Serna-Gonzalez, Medardo||El-Hawagi, Mahmoud M

publication date

  • February 2013