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Final Technical Report

Description: BlueFire Ethanol, Inc., a U.S. based corporation with offices in Irvine, California developed a cellulosic biorefinery to convert approximately 700 dry metric tons per day in to 18.9 million gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol. The Project is proposed to be located in the city of Fulton, County of Itawamba, Mississippi.
Date: September 13, 2012
Creator: Cuzens, John & Sumait, Necitas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Value of Coproduction of Ethanol and Furfural from Acid Hydrolysis Processes

Description: In the acid hydrolysis of a cellulosic feedstock (wood, wood wastes, or crop residues), up to 3.65 lb of furfural may be coproduced with each gallon of ethanol for only the cost of recovering and purifying it. Each plant producing 50 x 106 gal/yr of ethanol would produce an amount of by-product furfural equal to the total current domestic production. Thus, the need arises for investigation into potentially suitable processes for deriving profitable end products from furfural and thus expanding the market. The objectives of this study were to determine the economic potential of five selected, large volume derivatives of furfural that could displace hydrocarbon-based chemicals, and the consequent value of furfural as a by-product to the cellulose hydrolysis process of ethanol production.
Date: May 1, 1984
Creator: Parker, S.; Calnon, M.; Feinberg, D.; Power, A. & Weiss, L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final report (September, 1999--February, 2002) [Public outreach and information dissemination - cellulosic and corn-based ethanol outreach project]

Description: EESI's ''Ethanol, Climate Protection, Oil Reduction'' (ECO) electr[on]ic newsletter reaches out to the environmental and agricultural communities, state/local government officials and other interested parties, and provides a forum for dialogue about ''the potential benefits of ethanol--and particularly the expanded opportunities provided by cellulosic ethanol--with a special focus on climate protection.'' Each issue features expert commentary, excerpts from recent studies about ethanol, a summary of current government activity on ethanol, and ''notable quotables.'' The newsletter is distributed primarily via email and is also posted on EESI's web site. EESI also conducts outreach on the benefits of ethanol and other biofuels by attending and speaking at conferences, meetings and workshops around the country. The 16 issues of the newsletter published through December 2001 are included as attachments.
Date: August 1, 2002
Creator: Ames, Jeremy & Werner, Carol
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Switchgrass Demonstration Project

Description: Develop a pilot study that establishes up to 120 acres of cropland in switchgrass and 20 acres on a TN Experiment Station Farm. This subtask would assess production of switchgrass within the state of Tennessee under a variety of conditions and topography through on-farm production totaling 120 acres. Farms would be selected to participate through a bid process. Costs of establishment and maintenance of the switchgrass would be covered. In addition, allowances would be made for covering land rent and providing a yield incentive. An information and education program would be provided to producers prior to the bid process to assist producers in their bid decision. Agronomic, logistic, energy conversion and farming system issues associated with commercialization of a biomass energy industry are evaluated. Information on the opportunities for producing switchgrass as an energy feedstock are extended
Date: April 5, 2012
Creator: Ugarte, Burton C. English and Daniel De La Torre
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Physical Energy Accounting in California: A Case Study of Cellulosic Ethanol Production

Description: California's target for greenhouse gas reduction in part relies on the development of viable low-carbon fuel alternatives to gasoline. It is often assumed that cellulosic ethanol--ethanol made from the structural parts of a plant and not from the food parts--will be one of these alternatives. This study examines the physical viability of a switchgrass-based cellulosic ethanol industry in California from the point of view of the physical requirements of land, water, energy and other material use. Starting from a scenario in which existing irrigated pastureland and fiber-crop land is converted to switchgrass production, the analysis determines the total acreage and water supply available and the resulting total biofuel feedstock output under different assumed yields. The number and location of cellulosic ethanol biorefineries that can be supported is also determined, assuming that the distance from field to biorefinery would be minimized. The biorefinery energy input requirement, available energy from the fraction of biomass not converted to ethanol, and energy output is calculated at various levels of ethanol yields, making different assumptions about process efficiencies. The analysis shows that there is insufficient biomass (after cellulose separation and fermentation into ethanol) to provide all the process energy needed to run the biorefinery; hence, the purchase of external energy such as natural gas is required to produce ethanol from switchgrass. The higher the yield of ethanol, the more external energy is needed, so that the net gains due to improved process efficiency may not be positive. On 2.7 million acres of land planted in switchgrass in this scenario, the switchgrass outputproduces enough ethanol to substitute for only 1.2 to 4.0percent of California's gasoline consumption in 2007.
Date: July 17, 2008
Creator: Coughlin, Katie & Fridley, David
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Jennings Demonstration PLant

Description: Verenium operated a demonstration plant with a capacity to produce 1.4 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol from agricultural resiues for about two years. During this time, the plant was able to evaluate the technical issues in producing ethanol from three different cellulosic feedstocks, sugar cane bagasse, energy cane, and sorghum. The project was intended to develop a better understanding of the operating parameters that would inform a commercial sized operation. Issues related to feedstock variability, use of hydrolytic enzymes, and the viability of fermentative organisms were evaluated. Considerable success was achieved with pretreatment processes and use of enzymes but challenges were encountered with feedstock variability and fermentation systems. Limited amounts of cellulosic ethanol were produced.
Date: August 31, 2010
Creator: Heissner, Russ
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Process Design and Economics for Biochemical Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Ethanol: Dilute-Acid Pretreatment and Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Corn Stover

Description: This report describes one potential biochemical ethanol conversion process, conceptually based upon core conversion and process integration research at NREL. The overarching process design converts corn stover to ethanol by dilute-acid pretreatment, enzymatic saccharification, and co-fermentation. Building on design reports published in 2002 and 1999, NREL, together with the subcontractor Harris Group Inc., performed a complete review of the process design and economic model for the biomass-to-ethanol process. This update reflects NREL's current vision of the biochemical ethanol process and includes the latest research in the conversion areas (pretreatment, conditioning, saccharification, and fermentation), optimizations in product recovery, and our latest understanding of the ethanol plant's back end (wastewater and utilities). The conceptual design presented here reports ethanol production economics as determined by 2012 conversion targets and 'nth-plant' project costs and financing. For the biorefinery described here, processing 2,205 dry ton/day at 76% theoretical ethanol yield (79 gal/dry ton), the ethanol selling price is $2.15/gal in 2007$.
Date: March 1, 2011
Creator: Humbird, D.; Davis, R.; Tao, L.; Kinchin, C.; Hsu, D.; Aden, A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Understanding the Growth of the Cellulosic Ethanol Industry

Description: This report identifies, outlines, and documents a set of plausible scenarios for producing significant quantities of lignocellulosic ethanol in 2017. These scenarios can provide guidance for setting government policy and targeting government investment to the areas with greatest potential impact.
Date: April 1, 2008
Creator: Sandor, D.; Wallace, R. & Peterson, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cellulosic Ethanol Technology on Track to Being Competitive With Other Transportation Fuels (Fact Sheet)

Description: Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have been driving down the cost of cellulosic ethanol and overcoming the technical challenges that surround it-major milestones toward the Department of Energy (DOE) goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive by 2012.
Date: February 1, 2011
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

MN Center for Renewable Energy: Cellulosic Ethanol, Optimization of Bio-fuels in Internal Combustion Engines, & Course Development for Technicians in These Areas

Description: This final report for Grant #DE-FG02-06ER64241, MN Center for Renewable Energy, will address the shared institutional work done by Minnesota State University, Mankato and Minnesota West Community and Technical College during the time period of July 1, 2006 to December 30, 2008. There was a no-cost extension request approved for the purpose of finalizing some of the work. The grant objectives broadly stated were to 1) develop educational curriculum to train technicians in wind and ethanol renewable energy, 2) determine the value of cattails as a biomass crop for production of cellulosic ethanol, and 3) research in Optimization of Bio-Fuels in Internal Combustion Engines. The funding for the MN Center for Renewable Energy was spent on specific projects related to the work of the Center.
Date: February 22, 2009
Creator: Frey, John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fair Oaks Dairy Farms Cellulosic Ethanol Technology Review Summary

Description: At Fair Oaks Dairy, dried manure solids (''DMS'') are currently used as a low value compost. United Power was engaged to evaluate the feasibility of processing these DMS into ethanol utilizing commercially available cellulosic biofuels conversion platforms. The Fair Oaks Dairy group is transitioning their traditional ''manure to methane'' mesophilic anaerobic digester platform to an integrated bio-refinery centered upon thermophilic digestion. Presently, the Digested Manure Solids (DMS) are used as a low value soil amendment (compost). United Power evaluated the feasibility of processing DMS into higher value ethanol utilizing commercially available cellulosic biofuels conversion platforms. DMS was analyzed and over 100 potential technology providers were reviewed and evaluated. DMS contains enough carbon to be suitable as a biomass feedstock for conversion into ethanol by gasification technology, or as part of a conversion process that would include combined heat and power. In the first process, 100% of the feedstock is converted into ethanol. In the second process, the feedstock is combusted to provide heat to generate electrical power supporting other processes. Of the 100 technology vendors evaluated, a short list of nine technology providers was developed. From this, two vendors were selected as finalists (one was an enzymatic platform and one was a gasification platform). Their selection was based upon the technical feasibility of their systems, engineering expertise, experience in commercial or pilot scale operations, the ability or willingness to integrate the system into the Fair Oaks Biorefinery, the know-how or experience in producing bio-ethanol, and a clear path to commercial development.
Date: June 23, 2011
Creator: Wold, Andrew & Divers, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Geo-Database for Biofuel Simulations and Regional Analysis of Biorefinery Siting Based on Cellulosic Feedstock Grown on Marginal Lands

Description: The goal of this project undertaken by GLBRC (Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center) Area 4 (Sustainability) modelers is to develop a national capability to model feedstock supply, ethanol production, and biogeochemical impacts of cellulosic biofuels. The results of this project contribute to sustainability goals of the GLBRC; i.e. to contribute to developing a sustainable bioenergy economy: one that is profitable to farmers and refiners, acceptable to society, and environmentally sound. A sustainable bioenergy economy will also contribute, in a fundamental way, to meeting national objectives on energy security and climate mitigation. The specific objectives of this study are to: (1) develop a spatially explicit national geodatabase for conducting biofuel simulation studies and (4) locate possible sites for the establishment of cellulosic ethanol biorefineries. To address the first objective, we developed SENGBEM (Spatially Explicit National Geodatabase for Biofuel and Environmental Modeling), a 60-m resolution geodatabase of the conterminous USA containing data on: (1) climate, (2) soils, (3) topography, (4) hydrography, (5) land cover/ land use (LCLU), and (6) ancillary data (e.g., road networks, federal and state lands, national and state parks, etc.). A unique feature of SENGBEM is its 2008-2010 crop rotation data, a crucially important component for simulating productivity and biogeochemical cycles as well as land-use changes associated with biofuel cropping. ARRA support for this project and to the PNNL Joint Global Change Research Institute enabled us to create an advanced computing infrastructure to execute millions of simulations, conduct post-processing calculations, store input and output data, and visualize results. These computing resources included two components installed at the Research Data Center of the University of Maryland. The first resource was 'deltac': an 8-core Linux server, dedicated to county-level and state-level simulations and PostgreSQL database hosting. The second resource was the DOE-JGCRI 'Evergreen' cluster, capable of executing millions of simulations in ...
Date: April 1, 2012
Creator: Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Zhang, Xuesong; Sahajpal, Ritvik & Manowitz, David H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A case study of agricultural residue availability and cost for a cellulosic ethanol conversion facility in the Henan province of China

Description: A preliminary analysis of the availability and cost of corn stover and wheat straw for the area surrounding a demonstration biorefinery in the Henan Province of China was performed as a case study of potential cooperative analyses of bioenergy feedstocks between researchers and industry in the US and China. Though limited in scope, the purpose of this analysis is to provide insight into some of the issues and challenges of estimating feedstock availability in China and how this relates to analyses of feedstocks in the U.S. Completing this analysis also highlighted the importance of improving communication between U.S. researchers and Chinese collaborators. Understanding the units and terms used in the data provided by Tianguan proved to be a significant challenge. This was further complicated by language barriers between collaborators in the U.S. and China. The Tianguan demonstration biorefinery has a current capacity of 3k tons (1 million gallons) of cellulosic ethanol per year with plans to scale up to 10k tons (3.34 million gallons) per year. Using data provided by Tianguan staff in summer of 2011, the costs and availability of corn stover and wheat straw were estimated. Currently, there are sufficient volumes of wheat straw and corn stover that are considered 'waste' and would likely be available for bioenergy in the 20-km (12-mile) region surrounding the demonstration biorefinery at a low cost. However, as the industry grows, competition for feedstock will grow and prices are likely to rise as producers demand additional compensation to fully recover costs.
Date: May 1, 2012
Creator: Webb, Erin & Wu, Yun
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Role of Cellulosic Ethanol in Transportation

Description: Petroleum provides essentially all of the energy used today in the transportation sector. To reduce this dependence on fossil energy, other fuels are beginning to be used, notably ethanol and biodiesel. Almost all fuel ethanol is produced by the conversion of corn grain to starch with subsequent fermentation to ethanol. In 2006, almost 5 billion gallons of fuel ethanol were produced, which used 17% of domestic corn production. The DOE has a goal to displace 30% of motor gasoline demand or 60 billion gallons per year by 2030. To achieve this goal, production of ethanol from lignocellulosic sources (e.g., agricultural residues, forest residues, and dedicated energy crops) is needed. This paper will describe the production of cellulosic ethanol as well as the issues and benefits associated with its production.
Date: October 1, 2007
Creator: Robert M. Neilson, Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB). Users' manual and technical documentation.

Description: The Carbon Calculator for Land Use Change from Biofuels Production (CCLUB) calculates carbon emissions from land use change (LUC) for four different ethanol production pathways including corn grain ethanol and cellulosic ethanol from corn stover, miscanthus, and switchgrass. This document discusses the version of CCLUB released May 31, 2012 which includes corn, as did the previous CCLUB version, and three cellulosic feedstocks: corn stover, miscanthus, and switchgrass. CCLUB calculations are based upon two data sets: land change areas and above- and below-ground carbon content. Table 1 identifies where these data are stored and used within the CCLUB model, which is built in MS Excel. Land change area data is from Purdue University's Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model, a computable general equilibrium (CGE) economic model. Section 2 describes the GTAP data CCLUB uses and how these data were modified to reflect shrubland transitions. Feedstock- and spatially-explicit below-ground carbon content data for the United States were generated with a surrogate model for CENTURY's soil organic carbon sub-model (Kwon and Hudson 2010) as described in Section 3. CENTURY is a soil organic matter model developed by Parton et al. (1987). The previous CCLUB version used more coarse domestic carbon emission factors. Above-ground non-soil carbon content data for forest ecosystems was sourced from the USDA/NCIAS Carbon Online Estimator (COLE) as explained in Section 4. We discuss emission factors used for calculation of international greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Section 5. Temporal issues associated with modeling LUC emissions are the topic of Section 6. Finally, in Section 7 we provide a step-by-step guide to using CCLUB and obtaining results.
Date: June 7, 2012
Creator: Mueller, S; Dunn, JB; Wang, M (Energy Systems) & Chicago), (Univ. of Illinois at
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

NREL Proves Cellulosic Ethanol Can Be Cost Competitive (Fact Sheet)

Description: Ethanol from non-food sources - known as "cellulosic ethanol" - is a near-perfect transportation fuel: it is clean, domestic, abundant, and renewable, and it can potentially replace 30% of the petroleum consumed in the United States, but its relatively high cost has limited its market. That changed in 2012, when the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) demonstrated the technical advances needed to produce cellulosic ethanol at a minimum ethanol selling price of $2.15/gallon (in 2007 dollars). Through a multi-year research project involving private industry, NREL has proven that cellulosic ethanol can be cost competitive with other transportation fuels.
Date: November 1, 2013
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Process Design and Economics for Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Ethanol: Thermochemical Pathway by Indirect Gasification and Mixed Alcohol Synthesis

Description: This design report describes an up-to-date benchmark thermochemical conversion process that incorporates the latest research from NREL and other sources. Building on a design report published in 2007, NREL and its subcontractor Harris Group Inc. performed a complete review of the process design and economic model for a biomass-to-ethanol process via indirect gasification. The conceptual design presented herein considers the economics of ethanol production, assuming the achievement of internal research targets for 2012 and nth-plant costs and financing. The design features a processing capacity of 2,205 U.S. tons (2,000 metric tonnes) of dry biomass per day and an ethanol yield of 83.8 gallons per dry U.S. ton of feedstock. The ethanol selling price corresponding to this design is $2.05 per gallon in 2007 dollars, assuming a 30-year plant life and 40% equity financing with a 10% internal rate of return and the remaining 60% debt financed at 8% interest. This ethanol selling price corresponds to a gasoline equivalent price of $3.11 per gallon based on the relative volumetric energy contents of ethanol and gasoline.
Date: May 1, 2011
Creator: Dutta, A.; Talmadge, M.; Hensley, J.; Worley, M.; Dudgeon, D.; Barton, D. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Techno-Economic Analysis of Biochemical Scenarios for Production of Cellulosic Ethanol

Description: A techno-economic analysis on the production of cellulosic ethanol by fermentation was conducted to understand the viability of liquid biofuel production processes within the next 5-8 years. Initially, 35 technologies were reviewed, then a two-step down selection was performed to choose scenarios to be evaluated in a more detailed economic analysis. The lignocellulosic ethanol process was selected because it is well studied and portions of the process have been tested at pilot scales. Seven process variations were selected and examined in detail. Process designs were constrained to public data published in 2007 or earlier, without projecting for future process improvements. Economic analysis was performed for an 'nth plant' (mature technology) to obtain total investment and product value (PV). Sensitivity analysis was performed on PV to assess the impact of variations in process and economic parameters. Results show that the modeled dilute acid pretreatment process without any downstream process variation had the lowest PV of $3.40/gal of ethanol ($5.15/gallon of gasoline equivalent) in 2007 dollars. Sensitivity analysis shows that PV is most sensitive to feedstock and enzyme costs.
Date: June 1, 2010
Creator: Kazi, F. K.; Fortman, J.; Anex, R.; Kothandaraman, G.; Hsu, D.; Aden, A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department