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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Bioenergy Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #360329

Title: The costs of sugar production from different feedstocks and processing technologies

item SINGH, VIJAY - University Of Illinois
item Dien, Bruce
item CHENG, MING-HSUN - University Of Illinois
item HUANG, HAIBO - Virginia Polytechnic Institution & State University

Submitted to: Biofuels, Bioproducts, & Biorefining (Biofpr)
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2019
Publication Date: 2/16/2019
Citation: Singh, V., Dien, B.S., Cheng, M.H., Huang, H. 2019. The costs of sugar production from different feedstocks and processing technologies. Biofuels, Bioproducts, & Biorefining (Biofpr). 13(3):723-739.

Interpretive Summary: This paper compares costs for production of sugars from various feedstocks and processes. The data set was created by mining existing engineering process models and normalizing their results. It specifically compares capital and total manufacturing sugar from sugarcane, sugar beets, and corn with that from lignocellulosic feedstocks. Prior data sets emphasized production of fuel ethanol. Results show that costs associated with lignocellulose overlap with those of traditional carbohydrate crops but show a much greater variability in capital and total costs. This adds risk. This data set will be helpful for biorefineries who wish to use sugars to produce other products from sugars, especially higher-value biofuels and bioproducts with an interest using lignocellulose.

Technical Abstract: Sugar production is essential for the production of foods, biochemicals, and biofuels via biochemical or catalytic routes. Sugar-containing crops, starch-based, and cellulosic feedstocks are resources for sugar production via juice extraction, starch saccharification, and pretreatment and hydrolysis, respectively. Technologies have been developed to attain a high sugar yield; however, production costs are a major consideration in commercializing newly developed approaches to producing sugars. In this review, the fixed capital and production costs of sugar produced from first- and second-generation crops are summarized. As expected, first-generation crops provide the lowest fixed capital costs, ranging from 0.01 to 0.13 $/kg feedstock, and have production costs ranging from 0.22 to 0.55 $/kg sugar. For cellulosic crops, because of their recalcitrant structure and complex processing, the fixed capital and production costs are higher, ranging from 0.02 to 1.10 $/kg feedstock and 0.10 to 3.37 $/kg sugar, respectively.