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Energies 2015, 8(5), 4096-4117; doi:10.3390/en8054096

Techno-Economic Analysis of Bioethanol Production from Lignocellulosic Biomass in China: Dilute-Acid Pretreatment and Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Corn Stover

1
Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, Guangdong, China
3
Laboratory of Low Carbon Energy, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thomas E. Amidon
Received: 23 December 2014 / Revised: 28 April 2015 / Accepted: 1 May 2015 / Published: 8 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Biorefining)
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Abstract

Lignocellulosic biomass-based ethanol is categorized as 2nd generation bioethanol in the advanced biofuel portfolio. To make sound incentive policy proposals for the Chinese government and to develop guidance for research and development and industrialization of the technology, the paper reports careful techno-economic and sensitivity analyses performed to estimate the current competitiveness of the bioethanol and identify key components which have the greatest impact on its plant-gate price (PGP). Two models were developed for the research, including the Bioethanol PGP Assessment Model (BPAM) and the Feedstock Cost Estimation Model (FCEM). Results show that the PGP of the bioethanol ranges $4.68–$6.05/gal (9,550–12,356 yuan/t). The key components that contribute most to bioethanol PGP include the conversion rate of cellulose to glucose, the ratio of five-carbon sugars converted to ethanol, feedstock cost, and enzyme loading, etc. Lignocellulosic ethanol is currently unable to compete with fossil gasoline, therefore incentive policies are necessary to promote its development. It is suggested that the consumption tax be exempted, the value added tax (VAT) be refunded upon collection, and feed-in tariff for excess electricity (byproduct) be implemented to facilitate the industrialization of the technology. A minimum direct subsidy of $1.20/gal EtOH (2,500 yuan/t EtOH) is also proposed for consideration. View Full-Text
Keywords: economics; plant-gate price; enzyme; cost breakdown; incentives; policy; tax preference; subsidy economics; plant-gate price; enzyme; cost breakdown; incentives; policy; tax preference; subsidy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhao, L.; Zhang, X.; Xu, J.; Ou, X.; Chang, S.; Wu, M. Techno-Economic Analysis of Bioethanol Production from Lignocellulosic Biomass in China: Dilute-Acid Pretreatment and Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Corn Stover. Energies 2015, 8, 4096-4117.

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