Submitted to: Biocycle
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2006
Publication Date: 12/15/2006
Citation: Rosentrater, K.A. 2006. Coproducts are the key - economics and impacts of ethanol manufacture. Biocycle. 47(12):44-52.
Technical Abstract: As a nation, we face many challenges, including growing population, industrialization, as well as material and energy consumption. Coupled with these is an increasing reliance on fossil fuels, whose markets have historically been quite volatile, the energy security needs of North America continue to escalate. Biofuels, which are renewable sources of energy, can help meet some of these increasing needs. These can be produced from biomass materials, including agricultural residues, straw, corn stover, perennial grasses, legumes, and other biological materials. At the moment, the most heavily utilized is corn grain. Industrial ethanol production from corn is readily accomplished at a relatively low cost compared to other biomass sources. In coming years, however, the conversion of lignocellulosic materials is expected to become cost-competitive as this industry matures. Because the ethanol industry is the fastest growing of all the renewable energy sectors, it is imperative to discuss this industry, as well as the byproduct/coproduct streams that it produces.