Title: The development of an integrated environmental techno-economic assessment framework. How to assess the potential of microalgal-based biorefineries?

In her PhD Gwenny developed an integrated environmental techno-economic assessment (ETEA) method that allows the early identification of the most important parameters that influence the economic and environmental impact of a new process development.

Nowadays, the environmental impact of a new process is in many cases evaluated when the technology is at a high technology readiness level (TRL), i.e. ready for the market. At this point, it is hard to make big changes to the process. Using the ETEA methodology that she developed, the impact of a new process can be evaluated from a low TRL level. The main goal is to steer the process towards an economically feasible and environmentally friendly process with a high chance of market introduction success. This means that compared to other assessment methods such as LCA and LCC that mainly look at the impact of a product after market introduction, with the ETEA methodology Gwenny really focuses on process development itself. For the ETEA methodology she developed a template that allows for a transparent and uniform assessment in which multidisciplinary expertise is combined.

As an example of a new technology, Gwenny evaluated algal-based biorefineries. An algal-based biorefinery produces multiple products, such as food or feed, out of algae, which are small plant-like organisms.