An Indirect Route for Ethanol Production

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The ZeaChem indirect method is a radically new approach to producing fuel ethanol from renewable resources. Sugar and syngas processing platforms are combined in a novel way that allows all fractions of biomass feedstocks (e.g. carbohydrates, lignins, etc.) to contribute their energy directly into the ethanol product via fermentation and hydrogen based chemical process technologies. The goals of this project were: (1) Collect engineering data necessary for scale-up of the indirect route for ethanol production, and (2) Produce process and economic models to guide the development effort. Both goals were successfully accomplished. The projected economics of the Base Case developed ... continued below

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Eggeman, T.; Verser, D. & Weber, E. April 29, 2005.

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Description

The ZeaChem indirect method is a radically new approach to producing fuel ethanol from renewable resources. Sugar and syngas processing platforms are combined in a novel way that allows all fractions of biomass feedstocks (e.g. carbohydrates, lignins, etc.) to contribute their energy directly into the ethanol product via fermentation and hydrogen based chemical process technologies. The goals of this project were: (1) Collect engineering data necessary for scale-up of the indirect route for ethanol production, and (2) Produce process and economic models to guide the development effort. Both goals were successfully accomplished. The projected economics of the Base Case developed in this work are comparable to today's corn based ethanol technology. Sensitivity analysis shows that significant improvements in economics for the indirect route would result if a biomass feedstock rather that starch hydrolyzate were used as the carbohydrate source. The energy ratio, defined as the ratio of green energy produced divided by the amount of fossil energy consumed, is projected to be 3.11 to 12.32 for the indirect route depending upon the details of implementation. Conventional technology has an energy ratio of 1.34, thus the indirect route will have a significant environmental advantage over today's technology. Energy savings of 7.48 trillion Btu/yr will result when 100 MMgal/yr (neat) of ethanol capacity via the indirect route is placed on-line by the year 2010.

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: FG36-03GO13010
  • DOI: 10.2172/841137 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 841137
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc783569

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  • April 29, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Aug. 30, 2016, 7:02 p.m.

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Eggeman, T.; Verser, D. & Weber, E. An Indirect Route for Ethanol Production, report, April 29, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc783569/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.