Submitted to: Society of Industrial Microbiology Symposium
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/3/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The fuel ethanol industry has become an important partner with American agriculture. More than a billion gallons of ethanol were produced last year in the United States, utilizing 455 million bushels of corn. Nevertheless, the relatively high cost of ethanol production remains an important constraint on the use of ethanol as a fuel additive. Although recent legislative action has extended the tax credit for fuel ethanol to the year 2007, the future of the industry remains dependent upon many factors, including feedstock prices, crude oil prices, and regulatory policies. As recently as 1996, fuel ethanol production became unprofitable as a result of high corn prices. This dependence might be buffered by new technologies that improve the efficiency or economics of fuel ethanol production. One technological approach to reducing the cost of ethanol production is the development of more valuable coproducts. This review surveys technologies being developed to transform conventional fuel ethanol coproducts into a host of more valuable materials (113 references).