Techno-Economic Assessment of Ferulic Acid Bioproduction from Agro-industrial Waste Using Aspergillus niger

Apriliana Cahya Khayrani, Ibnu Maulana Hidayatullah, Ignatius Lintang Satyawan, Fatimah Azizah Riyadi, Nonni Soraya Sambudi, Nor Hasmaliana Abdul Manas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: As one of the leading countries in the agro-industrial sector, Indonesia has a wealth of biomass that can be converted into value-added commodities. The processing of this biomass generates waste containing cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, varying with biomass type. Valorizing this biomass presents an opportunity to enhance the profitability of agro-industries while simultaneously producing valuable chemicals like ferulic acid. Ferulic acid is a promising platform chemical that has numerous applications and significant derivative potential. This study conducts a techno-economic and profitability analysis for ferulic acid production using ferulic acid esterase (FAE) enzyme secreted from Aspergillus niger. We utilized SuperPro Designer v13.0 software to simulate the process, considering four scenarios: Oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB), corn stover, sugarcane (SC) bagasse, and rice straw as raw materials. The results indicate that SC bagasse is the most optimal raw material, yielding 24.31% ferulic acid. This scenario offers a gross margin of 63.17%, a return on investment (ROI) of 36.27%, and a payback period of 2.76 years at an internal rate of return (IRR) of 27.47%, outperforming other scenarios. Therefore, using SC bagasse as the substrate shows the best overall assessment and simulation results. Our findings not only provide practical insights for the economic viability and sustainability of using different biomass types for high-value biochemical production but also pave the way for further exploration into the efficient utilization of regional biomass resources. Graphical Abstract: (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
JournalWaste and Biomass Valorization
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Agro-industrial biomass
  • Aspergillus niger
  • Ferulic acid
  • SuperPro designer


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