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Keywords:

  • biomass;
  • biorefinery;
  • ethanol;
  • thermochemical fuels;
  • animal feed;
  • protein;
  • coproduction

Abstract

Seven process designs for producing ethanol and several coproducts from switchgrass are evaluated: four involving combinations of ethanol, thermochemical fuels (including Fischer-Tropsch liquids, hydrogen, and methane) and/or power, and three coproducing animal feed protein. Material and energy balances – resulting from detailed Aspen Plus models – are reported and used to estimate processing costs and perform discounted cash flow analysis to assess plant profitability. In these mature technology designs, fossil fuel displacement is decidedly positive and production costs competitive with gasoline. © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd