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Techno-economic evaluation of thermo-chemical biomass-to-ethanol

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  • He, Jie
  • Zhang, Wennan

Abstract

Bio-ethanol has received considerable attention as a basic chemical and fuel additive. Bio-ethanol is presently produced from sugar/starch materials, but can also be produced from lignocellulosic biomass via hydrolysis-fermentation route or thermo-chemical route. In terms of thermo-chemical route, a few pilot plants ranging from 0.3 to 67Â MW have been built and operated for alcohols synthesis. However, commercial success has not been found. In order to realize cost-competitive commercial ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass through thermo-chemical pathway, a techno-economic analysis needs to be done. In this paper, a thermo-chemical process is designed, simulated and optimized mainly with ASPEN Plus. The techno-economic assessment is made in terms of ethanol yield, synthesis selectivity, carbon and CO conversion efficiencies, and ethanol production cost. Calculated results show that major contributions to the production cost are from biomass feedstock and syngas cleaning. A biomass-to-ethanol plant should be built around 200Â MW. Cost-competitive ethanol production can be realized with efficient equipments, optimized operation, cost-effective syngas cleaning technology, inexpensive raw material with low pretreatment cost, high performance catalysts, off-gas and methanol recycling, optimal systematic configuration and heat integration, and high value byproduct.

Suggested Citation

  • He, Jie & Zhang, Wennan, 2011. "Techno-economic evaluation of thermo-chemical biomass-to-ethanol," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(4), pages 1224-1232, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:88:y:2011:i:4:p:1224-1232
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jaggi, Vikas & Jayanti, S., 2013. "A conceptual model of a high-efficiency, stand-alone power unit based on a fuel cell stack with an integrated auto-thermal ethanol reformer," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 295-303.
    2. Zhu, Shengdong & Huang, Wenjing & Huang, Wangxiang & Wang, Ke & Chen, Qiming & Wu, Yuanxin, 2015. "Pretreatment of rice straw for ethanol production by a two-step process using dilute sulfuric acid and sulfomethylation reagent," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 190-196.
    3. repec:gam:jeners:v:8:y:2015:i:11:p:12795-12809:d:58712 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Peng, Huadong & Chen, Hongzhang & Qu, Yongshui & Li, Hongqiang & Xu, Jian, 2014. "Bioconversion of different sizes of microcrystalline cellulose pretreated by microwave irradiation with/without NaOH," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 142-148.
    5. Dias, Marina O.S. & Junqueira, Tassia L. & Cavalett, Otávio & Pavanello, Lucas G. & Cunha, Marcelo P. & Jesus, Charles D.F. & Maciel Filho, Rubens & Bonomi, Antonio, 2013. "Biorefineries for the production of first and second generation ethanol and electricity from sugarcane," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 72-78.
    6. Palumbo, Aaron W. & Sorli, Jeni C. & Weimer, Alan W., 2015. "High temperature thermochemical processing of biomass and methane for high conversion and selectivity to H2-enriched syngas," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 13-24.
    7. Wennan Zhang & Jie He & Per Engstrand & Olof Björkqvist, 2015. "Economic Evaluation on Bio-Synthetic Natural Gas Production Integrated in a Thermomechanical Pulp Mill," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(11), pages 1-15, November.
    8. Fasahati, Peyman & Woo, Hee Chul & Liu, J. Jay, 2015. "Industrial-scale bioethanol production from brown algae: Effects of pretreatment processes on plant economics," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 175-187.
    9. Caspeta, Luis & Caro-Bermúdez, Mario A. & Ponce-Noyola, Teresa & Martinez, Alfredo, 2014. "Enzymatic hydrolysis at high-solids loadings for the conversion of agave bagasse to fuel ethanol," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 277-286.
    10. Varrone, C. & Liberatore, R. & Crescenzi, T. & Izzo, G. & Wang, A., 2013. "The valorization of glycerol: Economic assessment of an innovative process for the bioconversion of crude glycerol into ethanol and hydrogen," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 349-357.
    11. Sorda, Giovanni & Madlener, Reinhard, 2012. "Cost-Effectiveness of Lignocellulose Biorefineries and their Impact on the Deciduous Wood Markets in Germany," FCN Working Papers 8/2012, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    12. Byun, Jaewon & Han, Jeehoon, 2016. "Process synthesis and analysis for catalytic conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels: Separate conversion of cellulose and hemicellulose using 2-sec-butylphenol (SBP) solvent," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 483-490.
    13. Chen, Hsing Hung & Lee, Amy H.I. & Chen, Silu, 2014. "Strategic policy to select suitable intermediaries for innovation to promote PV solar energy industry in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 429-437.

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