Sustainability Assessment of Biorefinery Strategies Under Uncertainty and Risk Using Multi-criteria Decision-making (MCDM) Approach

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The methodology presented in this thesis assesses biorefinery alternatives from economic, market competitiveness and environmental perspectives, using systems analysis tools including classical techno-economic assessment. The results of these assessments are incorporated into a set of "intelligent" sustainability criteria. In contrast to conventional analyses which generally use only short-term profitability metrics for decision-making, this work defines multidisciplinary criteria representing profitability and business-oriented economic performance, potential environmental footprint, market competitiveness, as well as technology and market risks - as indicators of biorefinery sustainability. These criteria are inevitably conflicting, and thus they need to be aggregated into a unique sustainability score for each biorefinery strategy, through conducting a multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) by a multi-disciplinary panel with various backgrounds to ensure that expertise in the critical dimensions that should be considered in strategic decision making is captured. MCDM approach offers certain advantages over the other available methods, including : (a) reflecting the preferences of decision makers regarding the relative importance of the criteria, (b) consensus building among project stakeholders and (c) a focus on criterion interpretation

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