Submitted to: National Renewable Energy Laboratory Technical Report
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2004
Publication Date: 11/1/2004
Citation: Wallace, R., Ibsen, K., Mcaloon, A.J., Yee, W.C. 2004. Feasibility study for co-locating and integrating ethanol production plants from corn starch and lignocellulosic feedstock. National Renewable Energy Laboratory Technical Report. USDA and USDOE. p.1-58. Interpretive Summary: Current ethanol processes use starch based feedstocks such as corn for the production of ethanol. As the demand for ethanol increases cellulosic based materials such as corn fiber or corn stover will be used. This paper looks at various strategies in integrating a starch to ethanol facility with a cellulose to ethanol facility and evaluates their economic consequences. The results show that ethanol produced from biomass (non-starch substrates) continues to be significantly more expensive than that produced from corn, but that combining some of the operations of a corn-to-ethanol plant with a co-located corn stover-to-ethanol plant could result in some economic savings. This information provides detailed technoeconomic information that will be of use to all researchers and companies working on the production of ethanol from biomass.
Technical Abstract: Present ethanol production in the U.S. utilizes starch based materials such as corn for their feedstock. Increasing demands will result in cellulose based feedstocks such as corn stover or corn fiber being utilized for ethanol production. Some new cellulose based production facilities may be integrated into existing starch based ethanol facilities. The USDA-ARS has process and cost simulation models for the production of ethanol from starch and DOE-NREL has similar models for the production of ethanol from cellulose based materials. This paper resulted from a joint project of these two agencies, to investigate the possible integration of these two processes and to examine the potential economics of various scenarios. This analysis concludes that economies of scale would result from combining the utilities and ethanol purification of both processes, but no economic advantage would result from combining the coproduct streams of the two processes as this would result in a reduction of their combined value.