A climate-positive society requires a revolution in industrial and energy sectors. A systems approach is needed to analyse such a complex and multifaceted issue. CAPE-Lab research has been focusing on the analysis, design and optimization of energy and industrial systems, particularly with concern to biorefineries for sustainable fuel and chemical production, microalgae-based processes, and carbon capture, utilization and sequestration chains.
According to a multiscale and interdisciplinary perspective, the research effort has been addressing all key issues in the establishment of new bioenergy and biofuel systems, from the modelling of fundamental phenomena (e.g., microalgae growth mechanisms), up to the analysis and design of equipment and production processes (including heat integration), until the strategic design of the entire supply chain (where the effect of uncertainty in the design variables has also been taken into account). Both sustainability (e.g., minimization of carbon and water footprints) and economic goals have driven the optimization effort, especially in the optimization of the supply chain where an holistic approach is clearly of paramount importance.
Furthermore, CAPE-Lab research has been focused on the development of quantitative tools for optimal design and operation of large-scale infrastructures for carbon capture, transport, utilization and sequestration (CCS and CCUS). The design effort has been carried out considering the effects of both endogenous or exogenous uncertainties and the possible policy frameworks that may be endorsed. Risk analysis techniques, measures of social acceptance, cooperative transnational schemes have been included to provide effective decision tools to investors and policy makers.