Route selection for low-carbon ammonia production: A sustainability prioritization framework based-on the combined weights and projection ranking by similarity to referencing vector method

Di Xu, Liping Lv, Xusheng Ren, Jingzheng Ren, Lichun Dong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, a mathematical framework was developed for the sustainability prioritization of alternative low-carbon ammonia production routes. In the framework, a four-dimensional assessment system that can incorporate both quantitative and qualitative criteria from the environmental, economic, social-political, and technical concerns was firstly established. Subsequently, a hybrid Entropy-FANP method was employed to determine the criteria's weight by combining the objective data and subjective opinions; a novel PRSRV approach was developed to rigorously rank the alternative routes by aggregating the absolute sustainability performance and relative sustainability balance of each alternative. The proposed framework was applied to prioritize five promising low-carbon routes for ammonia production, i.e. wind turbine electrolysis (WGEA), solar photovoltaic electrolysis (PVEA), hydropower electrolysis (HPEA), biomass gasification electrolysis (BGEA), and nuclear high temperature electrolysis (NTEA), yielding the sustainability ranking of HPEA > BGEA > WGEA > PVEA > NTEA. The robustness and effectiveness of the proposed framework were verified by conducting the sensitivity analysis and comparing the results determined by the proposed framework with those determined using the previous approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-276
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2018


  • Combined weights
  • Criteria system
  • Low-carbon ammonia production
  • PRSRV method
  • Sustainability prioritization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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