Techno-Economic Analysis (TEA) of Different Pretreatment and Product Separation Technologies for Cellulosic Butanol Production from Oil Palm Frond

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Mahmud, Nazira
Rosentrater, Kurt
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Rosentrater, Kurt
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Food Science and Human NutritionCenter for Crops Utilization ResearchAgricultural and Biosystems EngineeringEnvironmental ScienceSustainable AgricultureCenter for Bioplastics and BiocompositesCenter for Crops Utilization Research

Among the driving factors for the high production cost of cellulosic butanol lies the pretreatment and product separation sections, which often demand high amounts of energy, chemicals, and water. In this study, techno-economic analysis of several pretreatments and product separation technologies were conducted and compared. Among the pretreatment technologies evaluated, low-moisture anhydrous ammonia (LMAA) pretreatment has shown notable potential with a pretreatment cost of $0.16/L butanol. Other pretreatment technologies evaluated were autohydrolysis, soaking in aqueous ammonia (SAA), and soaking in sodium hydroxide solution (NaOH) with pretreatment costs of $1.98/L, $3.77/L, and $0.61/L, respectively. Evaluation of different product separation technologies for acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation process have shown that in situ stripping has the lowest separation cost, which was $0.21/L. Other product separation technologies tested were dual extraction, adsorption, and membrane pervaporation, with the separation costs of $0.38/L, $2.25/L, and $0.45/L, respectively. The evaluations have shown that production of cellulosic butanol using combined LMAA pretreatment and in situ stripping or with dual extraction recorded among the lowest butanol production cost. However, dual extraction model has a total solvent productivity of approximately 6% higher than those of in situ stripping model.


This article is published as Mahmud, Nazira, and Kurt A. Rosentrater. "Techno-Economic Analysis (TEA) of Different Pretreatment and Product Separation Technologies for Cellulosic Butanol Production from Oil Palm Frond." Energies 13, no. 1 (2020): 181. DOI: 10.3390/en13010181. Posted with permission.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2020