Bio-butanol vs. bio-ethanol: A technical and economic assessment for corn and switchgrass fermented by yeast or Clostridium acetobutylicum

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dc.contributor.author Pfromm, Peter H.
dc.contributor.author Amanor-Boadu, Vincent
dc.contributor.author Nelson, Richard
dc.contributor.author Vadlani, Praveen V.
dc.contributor.author Madl, Ronald L.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-02-05T16:58:43Z
dc.date.available 2010-02-05T16:58:43Z
dc.date.issued 2010-04-10
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/2470
dc.description.abstract Fermentation-derived butanol is a possible alternative to ethanol as a fungible biomass-based liquid transportation fuel. We compare the fermentation-based production of n-butanol vs. ethanol from corn or switchgrass through the liquid fuel yield in terms of the lower heating value (LHV). Industrial scale data on fermentation to n-butanol (ABE fermentation) or ethanol (yeast) establishes a baseline at this time, and puts recent advances in fermentation to butanol in perspective. A dynamic simulation demonstrates the technical, economic and policy implications. The energy yield of n-butanol is about half that of ethanol from corn or switchgrass using current ABE technology. This is a serious disadvantage for n-butanol since feedstock costs are a significant portion of the fuel price. Low yield increases n-butanol’s life-cycle greenhouse gas emission for the same amount of LHV compared to ethanol. A given fermenter volume can produce only about one quarter of the LHV as n-butanol per unit time compared to ethanol. This increases capital costs. The sometimes touted advantage of n-butanol being more compatible with existing pipelines is, according to our techno-economic simulations insufficient to alter the conclusion because of the capital costs to connect plants via pipeline. en_US
dc.relation.uri http://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2009.12.017 en_US
dc.rights This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).
dc.rights.uri https://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/
dc.subject Ethanol en_US
dc.subject Butanol en_US
dc.subject ABE fermentation en_US
dc.subject Economics en_US
dc.subject Biofuel en_US
dc.subject Corn en_US
dc.title Bio-butanol vs. bio-ethanol: A technical and economic assessment for corn and switchgrass fermented by yeast or Clostridium acetobutylicum en_US
dc.type Text en_US
dc.date.published 2010 en_US
dc.citation.doi 10.1016/j.biombioe.2009.12.017 en_US
dc.citation.epage 524 en_US
dc.citation.issn 0961-9534 en_US
dc.citation.jtitle Biomass and Bioenergy en_US
dc.citation.spage 515 en_US
dc.citation.volume 34 en_US
dc.contributor.authoreid pfromm en_US
dc.description.version Article (author version)


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This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). Except where otherwise noted, the use of this item is bound by the following: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

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