Reference: AIChE Journal 59(1), pp. 3-18, 2013
Analysis: The authors discuss the need for a suitable software infrastructure in order to support the use of systems engineering tools for the development of biomass conversion processes and integrated biomass processing plants. For software tools integration and multi-scale modelling, they are using extensible languages which they prefer to CAPE-OPEN, which they cite through one paper of Belaud et al. and another paper from Barrett et al., as a solution for integrated computational environments in conventional process engineering applications. CAPE-OPEN is indeed well fitted to what can be seen as conventional process engineering applications because it was developed by analyzing how these applications were working. These applications have been used now and then to model biomass conversion processes and have been faced with a number of challenges, for instance for the representation of biomass, or with the number of phases involved. CAPE-OPEN is faced with the same challenges. Still a suitable software architecture may well be based on a mix of different solutions, including extensible languages and CAPE-OPEN, taking advantage of existing interoperability solutions whenever available.