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Open AccessArticle

Production of Ethanol from Livestock, Agricultural, and Forest Residuals: An Economic Feasibility Study

1
USDA-ARS, Coastal Plains Soil, Water & Plant Research Center, Florence, SC 29501, USA
2
USDA-FS, Forest Product Laboratory, Madison, WI 53726, USA
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Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, 14469 Potsdam-Bornim, Germany
4
Proe Power Systems, LLC., Medina, OH 44256, USA
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Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
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USDA-FS, Forest Product Laboratory, Madison, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53726, USA
7
Clemson University, Pee Dee Research Education Center, Florence, SC 29501, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Environments 2019, 6(8), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6080097
Received: 12 July 2019 / Revised: 13 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 17 August 2019
In this study, the economic feasibility of producing ethanol from gasification followed by syngas fermentation via commercially available technologies was theoretically evaluated using a set of selected livestock and agricultural and forest residuals ranging from low valued feedstocks (i.e., wood, wheat straw, wheat straws blended with dewatered swine manure, and corn stover) to high valued oilseed rape meal. A preliminary cost analysis of an integrated commercial system was made for two cases, a regional scale 50 million gallon (189,271 m3) per year facility (MGY) and a co-op scale 1–2 MGY facility. The estimates for the minimum ethanol selling prices (MESP) depend heavily on the facility size and feedstock costs. For the 1–2 MGY (3785–7571 m3/y) facility, the MESP ranged from $5.61–$7.39 per gallon ($1.48–$1.95 per liter) for the four low-value feedstocks. These high costs suggest that the co-op scale even for the low-value feedstocks may not be economically sustainable. However, the MESP for the 50 MGY facility were significantly lower and comparable to gasoline prices ($2.24–$2.96 per gallon or $0.59–$0.78 per liter) for these low-value feedstocks, clearly showing the benefits of scale-up on construction costs and MESP. View Full-Text
Keywords: swine manure; cover crops; wood; oilseed rape; syngas fermentation; gasification swine manure; cover crops; wood; oilseed rape; syngas fermentation; gasification
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ro, K.S.; Dietenberger, M.A.; Libra, J.A.; Proeschel, R.; Atiyeh, H.K.; Sahoo, K.; Park, W.J. Production of Ethanol from Livestock, Agricultural, and Forest Residuals: An Economic Feasibility Study. Environments 2019, 6, 97.

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