Implementing an energetic life cycle analysis to prove the benefits of lignocellulosic feedstocks with protein separation for the chemical industry from the existing bioethanol industry

B. Brehmer, J.P.M. Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The biofuel ethanol is currently being produced in large quantities from corn in the US and from wheat in the EU and further capacity expansion is expected. Relying on the so-called 1st generation technology, only the starch contained in the edible portion of the crops (ears/grains) is subjected to fermentation. Following life cycle calculations reveals minute levels of fossil fuel replacement placing doubt on its renewability and an imbalance on the domestic animal feed markets are immerging due to the by-product distiller grains. Additional utilization of the lignocellulosic and protein components of the by-product through new developments has the potential to alleviate both setbacks. A cradle-to-factory gate analysis was performed on a variety of bioethanol production layouts incorporating the newest technological developments to determine the maximum fossil fuel reduction potential. Expanding to include lignocellulose pretreatment for ethanol production with protein separation for amine-based chemical production can increase the fossil fuel mitigation potential by seven- to ninefold for US-corn and five- to eightfold for EU-wheat bioethanol facilities
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-777
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Volume102
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • distillers grains
  • products
  • ethanol
  • biomass
  • costs

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