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Every year millions of dollars are getting invested in the field of Biofuels like Algae, jatropha, corn, etc. and still they are nowhere near replacing fossil fuels. My question is why we are investing in biofuels which compete for ground with food and pollute the world (not as badly as fossil fuels). Instead why don't we concentrate on sources like solar or wind etc?
To my knowledge, the only area where electricity hasnâ€™t replaced fuels yet is in long range transportation like aviation, water and rail transport. Also, biofuels are made from plants that take in power from the sun, and indirectly we are cultivating the sun's energy through a long process. So instead, why don't we just harness the sun's energy in a more direct (and proven) manner?
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development recently issued a $75 million loan guarantee to support construction of a waste-to-energy bioprocessing facility in Vero Beach, Fla., that will produce up to 8 million gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol and create an estimated 380 new jobs.
The facility, estimated to be completed by the summer of 2012 and being constructed by INEOS New Plant Energy, LLC, will use a gas fermentation process to produce an estimated 8 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol from citrus fruit, vegetable and yard wastes.
The plant will consume an estimated 300 dry tons per day of organic material and, in addition to ethanol, produce enough electricity to run the plant and provide for the power needs of 1,400 homes.
I am not so sure. Since the microbe is patented, the companies will be paying a large sum to use this microbe for ethanol production. My hope is that the Cellulosic ethanol price should not increase on use of this microbe.
Sreejas147 posted a question Prairie cordgrass is very adaptive to various climates and is known to grow well in marginal lands and soil with a higher salt content. Why has this crop not being considered for large scale cultivation as a cellulosic ethanol feedstock? 2 years ago
Removing the toxins from acid hydrolised biomass is a major bottle neck in cellulosic ethanol production. Are there any enzymes that do not require high purity substrate for bioconversion into cellulosic ethanol?
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Latest Discussions - Cellulosic Ethanol
Scientists engineer the E.Coli to produce methyl ketones - high cetane numbers make them good candidates of biofuels but they have a high melting point which is an unfavorable fuel property. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120314101245.htm
Where is the Cellulosic Ethanol? - http://www.globalwarming.org/2011/08/17/where-is-the-cellulosic-ethanol/
Abengoa Announces DOE Offer of Conditional Commitment for $133.9 Million Loan Guarantee to Build Inaugural Biomass Plant in United States
, "Syngas Fermentation, The Third Pathway for Cellulosic Ethanol," http://worldbiofuelsmarkets.info/?p=1158#more-1158
Just a couple of minutes back, an entrepreneur from Nagpur called me to inquire if investing in cellulosic ethanol was an attractive business opportunity. I told him that given the current state of technology in cellulosic ethanol, it might be better for him to wait for a couple of years before he went ahead and invested in the technology...
Süd-Chemie breaks ground on cellulosic ethanol plant in Germany
German chemicals company Süd-Chemie AG told that it will start construction work at its cellulosic ethanol project in Straubing, Bavaria on July 26, 2011.
From end-2011, 1,000 tonnes of cellulosic ethanol are to be produced from 4,000 tonnes of wheat straw annually.
Cellulosic Ethanol Moving Closer To Reality
Making ethanol from something other than corn is close to becoming a reality. One of the missing links has been the enzymes needed to process the cellulosic material. Genencor, a leader in enzyme development, has achieved a breakthrough that will move cellulosic ethanol closer to the market. Aaron Kelly, Director of biomass development for Genencor, told HAT that their new product Accellerase" TRIO has solved some of the problems in turning biomass into ethanol, "Ethanol producers will discover other benefits. Accellerase" TRIO works with a wide variety of renewable feedstocks, allowing producers to select nonfood crops and municipal solid waste that are abundant in their region to convert to ethanol or biochemicals. In addition, Accellerase" TRIO can help boost total production by lowering viscosity and enabling producers to process more biomass."
U.S. Backs Project to Produce Fuel From Corn Waste
The Energy Department plans to provide a $105 million loan guarantee for the expansion of an ethanol factory in Emmetsburg, Iowa, that intends to make motor fuel from corncobs, leaves and husks.
Experts say that the new factory, being built by POET, a major producer of ethanol derived from corn kernels, could be the first commercial-scale plant to make ethanol from a nonfood, or cellulosic, plant source
$105 million loan grant for Iowa Cellulosic Ethanol from US DOE
The US Department of Energy on Thursday announced it has offered ethanol producer POET a $105 million conditional loan guarantee to build the first US commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Iowa.
The funding guarantee will go to POET's Liberty project, which is expected to produce 25 million gallons of ethanol/year, and bring $14 million to local farmers. The plant will use corn cobs, leaves and husks to produce ethanol.
"This project will help decrease our dependence on oil, create jobs and aid our transition to clean, renewable energy that is produced here at home," Energy Secretary Steven Chu told reporters.
Read more: http://bitly.com/pUlsdg
End Ethanol Tax Credit
A bipartisan pair of senators have announced a compromise on ending the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit at the end of this month.
he bipartisan agreement would dedicate two-thirds of the savings from existing money-$1.3 billion-to debt reduction and the remaining $668 million in savings to renewable fuel incentives, helping provide consumers with lower gas prices. The compromise can now be considered by the full Senate.he bipartisan agreement would dedicate two-thirds of the savings from existing money-$1.3 billion-to debt reduction and the remaining $668 million in savings to renewable fuel incentives, helping provide consumers with lower gas prices. The compromise can now be considered by the full Senate.
A taxpayer would be able to take a 20 percent tax credit for the installation of alternative fuel infrastructure, up to $30,000, including E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline) infrastructure. This credit is currently scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2011. Other fuels that are eligible for the credit include electric charging stations and natural gas refueling stations.
The agreement would also modify and extend through 2015 the existing $1.01 per gallon tax credit for cellulosic biofuels that would otherwise expire on December 31, 2012. This is done by using 2011 funding only.
In addition, the bill includes a depreciation allowance for cellulosic plants, and the definition of cellulosic biofuels will include fuels made from algae.
Read complete story: http://bitly.com/pJr7UA
Cellulosic Ethanol Moving Closer To Reality
Genencor, a leader in enzyme development, has made a breakthrough that will move cellulosic ethanol closer to the market. The attend to production ethanol from sources other than corn is close to becoming a reality.
Genencor has a 25-year history in biofuels research and development. In 2007, Genencor was the first company to launch a commercial-scale enzyme for cellulosic ethanol production, Accellerase" 1000, and later the company introduced Accellerase" 1500 and Accellerase" DUET.
Myths about Cellulosic Ethanol, Busted...!!
Myth No. 1: Ethanol requires more energy to make than it yields.
False. Argonne National Laboratory research has shown that corn ethanol delivers a positive energy balance of 8.8 megajoules per liter. The energy balance from second-generation biofuels using cellulosic sources is up to six times better, according to a study published in Biomass and Bioenergy Journal.
There are two key reasons ethanol is no longer net energy negative.
First, corn production efficiency has increased dramatically: Producers now grow 160 bushels per acre today versus the 95 grown in 1980, and corn yield continues to increase.
Second, ethanol production has become more energy-efficient. Today, more than 90 percent of corn used in ethanol production goes through a dry milling process that uses far less energy than the wet milling process used before. The combination of more corn per acre, coupled with a reduction of energy input to process ethanol, has resulted in a favorable energy output. The gallons of ethanol yielded per bushel of corn has also increased by about 50 percent.
Myth No. 2: Ethanol production reduces our food supply.
False. Only 1 percent of all corn grown in this country is eaten by humans. The rest is No. 2 yellow field corn, which is indigestible to humans and used in animal feed, food supplements and ethanol.
Specifically, a bushel of corn used for ethanol produces 1.5 pounds of corn oil, 17.5 pounds of high-protein feed called DDGS, 2.6 pounds of corn meal and 31.5 pounds of starch. The starch can be converted to sweeteners or used to produce 2.8 gallons of ethanol. DDGS displaces whole corn and some soybeans traditionally used in animal feed. The United States is a large exporter of DDGS to China and other countries.
Additionally, the food-versus-fuel debate has spurred significant research and development of second-generation biofuels like cellulosic ethanol that do not use food crops. Cellulosic ethanol is made from the "woody" structural material in plants that is unusable by humans. Unlike food crops, ethanol crops and cellulosic ethanol crops can grow in any soil that will sustain grass.
Researchers, including Argonne, are investigating using marginal land to grow ethanol crops. Studies from the U.S. Department of Energy suggest the United States has enough non-edible biomass to produce approximately 30 percent of our total transportation fuel requirements by 2030. That could go a long way toward easing our reliance on imported petroleum.
Taken together, the increase in crop yield and the use of marginal lands can enable us to produce food and fuels.
Myth No. 3: Ethanol crops and production emit more greenhouse gases than gasoline.
False. A 1996 EPA study analyzing sources of air pollution confirmed that gasoline vehicles and non-road equipment are the largest contributors to vehicular gaseous hazardous air pollutants. However, another study showed ethanol reduces tailpipe carbon monoxide as much as 30 percent and tailpipe particulate matter emissions by 50 percent (.pdf). And blending ethanol with gasoline dramatically reduces carbon monoxide tailpipe emissions and tailpipe emissions of volatile organic compounds that form ozone.
Finally, a life cycle analysis of ethanol found "at present and in the near future, using corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emission by more than 20 percent, relative to those of petroleum gasoline." Blending cellulosic ethanol with gasoline to make E85 brings the reduction to 63 percent. Some purpose-grown woody crops for next-generation fuels actually increase soil carbon enough to yield over a 100 percent reduction in GHG emissions.
Myth No. 4: Ethanol requires too much water to produce.
False. The amount of water used to make ethanol has declined dramatically. Today, producing one gallon of ethanol requires about 3.5 gallons of water. That's a little more than it takes to process a gallon of gasoline. Much of the criticism about ethanol's water requirements stem from the need to irrigate feedstock crops in drier climates. But most ethanol is produced from rain-fed crops grown in the Midwest.
In addition, ethanol is not carcinogenic and doesn't poison groundwater or the ocean. Ethanol rapidly biodegrades. Concerns over ethanol spills are muted by ethanol's low toxicity. In fact, you'll find ethanol in beer, bourbon and other happy-hour beverages you've probably consumed.
Myth No. 5: Cars get lower gas mileage with ethanol.
OK, this one's true. If you completely burn a gallon of gasoline and a gallon of E85, you'll get 25 percent less energy from the E85. Flex-fuel cars that run on gasoline and ethanol see 25 percent less mileage with ethanol. However, a gallon of ethanol costs approximately 17 percent less than that of a gallon of gasoline. In some, but not all, regions, the fuel-economy deficit is recovered by cheaper fuel costs. As the market grows and matures, production optimization would further drive down ethanol costs.
Research currently underway takes advantage of ethanol's characteristics in a fully optimized engine that could greatly reduce the energy deficit. Last year, for example, Delphi cut the fuel economy penalty by one-third - while simultaneously increasing power. Downsizing the engine, combined with cheaper E85, would result in cost savings to the consumer, potentially making E85 more favorable than gasoline. On the plus side, ethanol has a higher octane rating than gasoline so it can improve performance.
On a final note, it's important to take a step back and really look at our nation's energy position. Currently, the United States consumes 20 million barrels of oil per day, approximately a quarter of the world's total. Seventy percent of that petroleum is used for transportation.
To meet that demand, we import 65 percent of what we consume. Yet, there are a number of hidden costs associated with the use of petroleum. A study conducted in 2003 showed that the true cost of a gallon of gasoline (including all indirect costs) was $5.28 per gallon. Yet in 2003, the average pump price for a gallon of gasoline was only $1.50. One can imagine what the actual cost is today by factoring in such indirect costs.
We produce about 900,000 barrels of ethanol per day in the United States. That surpasses the volume of petroleum we import from Nigeria and is within striking distance of the amount that we import from Venezuela or Saudi Arabia. Ethanol is making a real contribution to our energy needs and reducing our dependence on imported petroleum.
Editor's note: Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory occasionally contribute guest posts to Wired.com. In writing this post, Jehlik was not paid by, nor did he benefit from, the ethanol industry or its lobby. His research is energy-neutral and his paycheck remains the same regardless of his findings.
Breaking the Chemical and Engineering Barriers to Lignocellulosic Biofuels - an excellent, detailed document - http://www.ecs.umass.edu/biofuels/Images/Roadmap2-08.pdf
Shell Tie-up with Iogen - Shell also has a tie up with Iogen, which received part of a US Department of energy grant of $385m into cellulose ethanol earlier in 2008. - http://www.icis.com/blogs/biofuels/archives/2007/11/shell-and-codexis-see-2nd-gene.html
A new cyanobacteria that secretes cellulose - A research team from the University of Texas has developed a new blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) that secretes a soft cellulose, glucose and sucrose. -
Indiaâ€™s First Demonstration-Scale Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefinery Set to Open - Demonstration-scale projects are popping up with greater frequency. The latest such project to come onto the radar is one being built in the Indian state of Karnataka. Developed by Godavari Sugar Mills Ltd in Sameerwadi, Karnataka, the biorefinery will use sugarcane bagasse (the fiber which is left over after the juice has been pressed out) to produce ethanol. - http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/09/india-first-demonstration-scale-cellulosic-ethanol-biorefine
US far short of grass-based biofuel refineries needed for 2022 federal standard - It may be one of the biggest green gambles of the century: a national goal of converting wood, grass, corn stalks and garbage into 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels annually by 2022. No commercial-scale refineries exist, researchers have yet to agree on the best technology for fuel conversion and there is no distribution network to handle fuel once it is made. - http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081016/apfn_behind_on_biofuel.html
Iogen ships cellulosic ethanol to Shell - Ottawa-based Iogen has made the first shipment of cellulosic ethanol under a deal with Netherlands' oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, sending 100,000 liters of an initial 180,000 liter order from Shell. - http://media.cleantech.com/3574/iogen-ships-cellulosic-ethanol-shell
Breaking up cellulose to monomer molecules - An alternative to syngas method is to break the cellulose and hemicellulose into their component monomer molecules. This is easier said than done, especially if lignin is involved. Lignin is resistant to such conversion - proof is the amount of coal available in the world. Coal is composed of mainly lignin from plants that failed to decompose completely -
Iogen ships first 26,000 gallons of cellulosic ethanol to Shell - Canadian cellulosic ethanol producer Iogen has shipped the first 26,000 gallons of an order for Royal Dutch Shell. Iogen recently announced a deal with Shell that would see them cooperate on commercializing cellulosic ethanol production. Iogen has a demonstration plant near the Canadian capitol and produced biofuel from wheat straw. Iogen uses a steam explosion pre-treatment process that increases surface area of the raw materials making the enzymes used to break down cellulose more effectively - http://www.greenedia.com/aggregator_redirect?iid=137637