How does technology pathway choice influence economic viability and environmental impacts of lignocellulosic biorefineries?

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dc.contributor.author Rajendran, Karthik
dc.contributor.author Murthy, Ganti S.
dc.date.accessioned 2017-11-17T11:17:25Z
dc.date.available 2017-11-17T11:17:25Z
dc.date.issued 2017-11-14
dc.identifier.citation Rajendran, K. and Murthy, G. S. (2017) ‘How does technology pathway choice influence economic viability and environmental impacts of lignocellulosic biorefineries?’, Biotechnology for Biofuels, 10, 268 (19pp). doi:10.1186/s13068-017-0959-x en
dc.identifier.volume 10 en
dc.identifier.startpage 1 en
dc.identifier.endpage 19 en
dc.identifier.issn 1754-6834
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/5060
dc.identifier.doi 10.1186/s13068-017-0959-x
dc.description.abstract Background: The need for liquid fuels in the transportation sector is increasing, and it is essential to develop industrially sustainable processes that simultaneously address the tri-fold sustainability metrics of technological feasibility, economic viability, and environmental impacts. Biorefineries based on lignocellulosic feedstocks could yield high-value products such as ethyl acetate, dodecane, ethylene, and hexane. This work focuses on assessing biochemical and biomass to electricity platforms for conversion of Banagrass and Energycane into valuable fuels and chemicals using the tri-fold sustainability metrics. Results: The production cost of various products produced from Banagrass was $1.19/kg ethanol, $1.00/kg ethyl acetate, $3.01/kg dodecane (jet fuel equivalent), $2.34/kg ethylene and $0.32/kW-h electricity. The production cost of different products using Energycane as a feedstock was $1.31/kg ethanol, $1.11/kg ethyl acetate, $3.35/kg dodecane, and $2.62/kg ethylene. The sensitivity analysis revealed that the price of the main product, feedstock cost and cost of ethanol affected the profitability the overall process. Banagrass yielded 11% higher ethanol compared to Energycane, which could be attributed to the differences in the composition of these lignocellulosic biomass sources. Acidification potential was highest when ethylene was produced at the rate of 2.56 × 10−2 and 1.71 × 10−2 kg SO2 eq. for Banagrass and Energycane, respectively. Ethanol production from Banagrass and Energycane resulted in a global warming potential of − 12.3 and − 40.0 g CO2 eq./kg ethanol. Conclusions: Utilizing hexoses and pentoses from Banagrass to produce ethyl acetate was the most economical scenario with a payback period of 11.2 years and an ROI of 8.93%, respectively. Electricity production was the most unprofitable scenario with an ROI of − 29.6% using Banagrass/Energycane as a feedstock that could be attributed to high feedstock moisture content. Producing ethylene or dodecane from either of the feedstocks was not economical. The moisture content and composition of biomasses affected overall economics of the various pathways studied. Producing ethanol and ethyl acetate from Energycane had a global warming potential of − 3.01 kg CO2 eq./kg ethyl acetate. en
dc.description.sponsorship U.S. Department of Agriculture (Biomass Research and Development Initiative, Grant Number USDA-NIFA-9008-003540) en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher BioMed Central en
dc.rights © 2017, the Authors. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ en
dc.subject Techno-economic analysis en
dc.subject Life cycle assessments en
dc.subject Lignocelluloses en
dc.subject Biorefinery en
dc.subject Biomass pretreatment en
dc.subject Process simulation en
dc.subject Systems analysis en
dc.subject Advanced biofuels en
dc.title How does technology pathway choice influence economic viability and environmental impacts of lignocellulosic biorefineries? en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Karthik Rajendran, Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. T: +353-21-490-3000 E: k.rajendran@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.description.version Published Version en
dc.contributor.funder U.S. Department of Agriculture en
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle Biotechnology for Biofuels en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress k.rajendran@ucc.ie en
dc.identifier.articleid 268


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© 2017, the Authors. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2017, the Authors. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
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