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On the economic optimisation of ethanol production using corn stover feedstock: A new kinetic model, a green recovery system and a deacetylation step

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Victor Grisales DiazORCiD, Dr Mark Willis



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This paper considers the economic assessment and optimisation of a bioethanol production process using corn stover (CS) as the feedstock. This includes a comparison between the use of batch and fed-batch reactors with and without deacetylation. As a basis of the study, a kinetic model describing the co-fermentation of substrates producing ethanol using Zymomonas mobilis is proposed. The model extends work available in the literature to include acetate inhibition. The reported optimisation studies include realistic variations in feedstock quality, deacetylation, a mechanical pre-treatment stage and a green recovery system: extractive distillation with vapour compression. Results indicate that the use of fed-batch reactors using a deacetylation stage achieves an ethanol yield of between 267 and 334 L/ton dry basis of CS and economic potential of between 0.4-5.5 MM USD/year higher than the use of batch reactors. This also has the lowest energy requirements in the product recovery stage (3.2-3.4 MJ-fuel/kg-ethanol or 1.6-1.8 MJ/kg-ethanol). Omitting de-acetylation prior to hydrolysis/co-fermentation increases the minimum ethanol selling price and energy requirements by ~3-14% and ~8-30%, respectively.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Grisales Díaz VH, Willis MJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Energy Conversion and Management

Year: 2019

Volume: 202

Print publication date: 15/12/2019

Online publication date: 25/10/2019

Acceptance date: 15/10/2019

Date deposited: 28/10/2019

ISSN (print): 0196-8904

ISSN (electronic): 1879-2227

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2019.112200


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