Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to Liquid Fuels Synthesis, Volume 2: A Techno-economic Evaluation of the Production of Mixed Alcohols

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Biomass is a renewable energy resource that can be converted into liquid fuel suitable for transportation applications and thus help meet the Energy Independence and Security Act renewable energy goals (U.S. Congress 2007). However, biomass is not always available in sufficient quantity at a price compatible with fuels production. Municipal solid waste (MSW) on the other hand is readily available in large quantities in some communities and is considered a partially renewable feedstock. Furthermore, MSW may be available for little or no cost. This report provides a techno-economic analysis of the production of mixed alcohols from MSW and compares it ... continued below

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Jones, Susanne B.; Zhu, Yunhua & Valkenburt, Corinne May 1, 2009.

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Biomass is a renewable energy resource that can be converted into liquid fuel suitable for transportation applications and thus help meet the Energy Independence and Security Act renewable energy goals (U.S. Congress 2007). However, biomass is not always available in sufficient quantity at a price compatible with fuels production. Municipal solid waste (MSW) on the other hand is readily available in large quantities in some communities and is considered a partially renewable feedstock. Furthermore, MSW may be available for little or no cost. This report provides a techno-economic analysis of the production of mixed alcohols from MSW and compares it to the costs for a wood based plant. In this analysis, MSW is processed into refuse derived fuel (RDF) and then gasified in a plant co-located with a landfill. The resulting syngas is then catalytically converted to mixed alcohols. At a scale of 2000 metric tons per day of RDF, and using current technology, the minimum ethanol selling price at a 10% rate of return is approximately $1.85/gallon ethanol (early 2008 $). However, favorable economics are dependent upon the toxicity characteristics of the waste streams and that a market exists for the by-product scrap metal recovered from the RDF process.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-18482
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/962845 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 962845
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc929020

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  • May 1, 2009

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 7, 2016, 5:56 p.m.

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Jones, Susanne B.; Zhu, Yunhua & Valkenburt, Corinne. Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to Liquid Fuels Synthesis, Volume 2: A Techno-economic Evaluation of the Production of Mixed Alcohols, report, May 1, 2009; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc929020/: accessed October 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.