DOI: 10.3390/su16010410 ISSN: 2071-1050

A Framework for Assessing Hydrochars from Hydrothermal Carbonisation of Agrowaste with the Use of MCDA: Application with the Hierarchical SMAA-PROMETHEE Method

Panagiotis Isigonis, Salvatore Corrente, Stergios Vakalis
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

Large amounts of hydrochar have been produced during the last decade by various hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC) processes. While the products of HTC seem to have widespread acceptance as valuable and efficient materials with advantages in their energy and environmental applications, which include soil improvement, heavy metal recovery, and many more, a comprehensive framework for the assessment of the different hydrochars based on their characteristics is missing. In this study, a framework for the assessment of hydrochars is proposed with the utilisation of Multi-Criteria Decision-Aiding (MCDA) methodologies. A hierarchical structure of independent criteria is established on a comprehensive level including three lines of evidence (LoE), i.e., Environmental, Economic, and Social LoE, which further include the assessment criteria. Hierarchical-SMAA-PROMETHEE is proposed as the most suitable MCDA methodology to be applied for assessing hydrochars based on the proposed framework. A case study is performed to demonstrate the utility of the framework and the advantages it offers to analysts and decision-makers. Hierarchical-SMAA-PROMETHEE is a non-compensatory method that enables exploring the decision problem on more than one level (comprehensive vs. LoE) and includes robust recommendations on the preference model and the elicitation of weights.

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