Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Modeling the Process and Costs of the Production of Fuel Ethanol by the Corn Dry-Grind Process

Authors
item Kwiatkowski, Jason
item McAloon, Andrew
item Taylor, Frank
item Johnston, David

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 10, 2006
Publication Date: May 5, 2006
Citation: Kwiatkowski, J.R., Mcaloon, A.J., Taylor, F., Johnston, D. (2006)Modeling the process and costs of the production of fuel ethanol by the corn dry-grind process. Industrial Crops and Products. V.23, Issue 3, p.288-296.

Interpretive Summary: INTERPRETIVE SUMMARY: A new computer simulation for the estimation of the costs associated with the production of fuel ethanol from corn was developed. The simulation may be used to evaluate new technologies associated with the process, new feedstocks for the production of ethanol, and will also help guide the development of research in the area. The user may input and estimate parameters such as the cost and composition of raw materials entering the process, the sizing of equipment, utility consumption, operating costs, capital costs, and revenue from products and co-products. The simulation is based on data gathered from ethanol producers, technology suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and engineers working in the industry. This work will be useful for researchers and those working to develop new, lower cost processes for the production of fuel ethanol from crops.

Technical Abstract: A process and cost model for a conventional corn dry-grind processing facility producing 40 million gallons per year (119 million kilograms per year) of ethanol was developed as a research tool for use in evaluating new processing technologies and products from starch-based commodities. The models were developed using SuperPro Designer (R)software and handle composition of raw materials and products, sizing of unit operations, utility consumptions, estimation of capital and operating costs, and the revenues from products and co-products. The model is based on data gathered from ethanol producers, technology suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and engineers working in the industry. Intended applications of this model include: evaluating existing and new grain conversion technologies, determining the impact of alternate feedstocks, and sensitivity analysis of key economic factors. In one sensitivity analysis, the cost of producing ethanol increased from $0.89 per gallon to $1.38 per gallon as the price of corn increased from $1.80 per bushel to $3.20 per bushel. Another example gave over a 15% reduction in yield as the amount of starch in the feed was lowered from 59.5% to 50%(w/w).

Last Modified: 10/1/2014