History and economics of cellulosic ethanol. Thomas Jeffries Specialized Library Association Chicago, Illinois July 17, 2012 . If we are to survive as a society we must find a way to convert our fossil energy capital into the means for renewable energy income. R. Buckminster Fuller.
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History and economics of cellulosic ethanol
Specialized Library Association
July 17, 2012
If we are to survive as a society we must find a way to convert our fossil energy capital into the means for renewable energy income.
R. Buckminster Fuller
Braconnot, H. 1819. Gilbert's Annalen der Physik, 63:348-371
Von Demuth, R. 1913. Zeitschr. F. angewChemieAufsatzteil 1913, 26:786-792
Robert Rapier Sep 10, 2009
SherradEC & Kressman FW (1945) Review of Processes in the United States
Prior to World War II. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry 37(1):5-8
Foth, G. 1913. The recovery of alcohol from wood. ChemikerZeitung 37(120), p. 1221
Settling tank, Single effect evaporator, Hydroextractor
Developed in response to need for ethanol for the synthesis of synthetic rubber.
Based on the Scholler process in which dilute acid is percolated over a bed of wood chips.
Differs in that dilute acid is percolated initially at a lower temperature then at progressively higher temperatures until only lignin remains.
Sugars are collected in a series of tanks, neutralized with CaO and fermented.
Following World War II, scientists modified the German Sholler process for use in the United States
J.A. Hall directed pilot plant studies at the Dow Chemical Company plant in Marquette, Michigan and Vulcan Copper and Supply Co. at Cincinnati Ohio.
Designed a pilot plant to produce 11,500 gal of ethanol/day (4 million gallons/year)
Based on Douglas fir (lowest xylan)
0.4 to 0.85% sulfuric acid
6 hour hydrolysis; 8:1 L:S ratio
50 to 150 psig; 298-366°F
Yield of 52 gallons per ton (2% beer)
Constructed in 1944 operated until 1946: met target of 15,000 gal/day, 50 gal per ton
But it rhymes…
at age 62
Rowett Res. Institute
Karl Erick Ericksson
Swedish Forest Products Laboratory
Yale School of Forestry
Tarun K. Ghose
Indian Institute, New Delhi
2011 - $111
Collapse of oil
Peak oil 2005?
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy Review, Table 5.21.
¹ Composite of domestic and imported crude oil.
² In chained (2005) dollars, calculated by using gross domestic product implicit price deflators. See "Chained Dollars" in Glossary.
What are the drivers?
Temperature correlates closely with CO2 levels
Regional emissions commitment from existing energy and transportation infrastructure
Regional emissions normalized by regional population
Regional emissions normalized by regional GDP
Future CO2 Emissions and Climate Change from Existing Energy Infrastructure Steven J. Davis, et al. Science 329, 1330 (2010)
The last and the current generation contributed approximately two thirds of the present day CO2-induced warming.
Global mean temperatures would increase by several tenths of a degree for at least the next 20 years even if CO2 emissions were immediately cut to zero.
Friedlingsteinand Solomon, 2005 PNAS 102(31):10832–10836
Solid line shows contribution to CO2 by each “generation” continuing at same rate
Dotted line shows contribution if CO2 emissions were immediately stopped
Of first plants
Source: Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Production of ethanol from corn is reaching unsustainable levels
CTL = coal to liquids; GE = grain ethanol; CE = cellulosic ethanol; BTL = biomass to liquids; Gas = gasoline
Wheat straw and forest residues are potentially the most economical feedstocks
Implicit subsidy required for cellulosic ethanol at $111/bbl oil
WTA = willing to accept; WTP willing to pay
Source: National Research Council, 2011 Renewable Fuel Standard (prepublication)