An Environmental and Economic Analysis of Flocculation Technology Applied to a Corn-Based Ethanol Plant

dc.contributor.author da Conceição T. B. e Oliveira, Maria
dc.contributor.author Rosentrater, Kurt
dc.contributor.author Rosentrater, Kurt
dc.contributor.department Food Science and Human Nutrition
dc.contributor.department Center for Crops Utilization Research
dc.contributor.department Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
dc.contributor.department Environmental Science
dc.contributor.department Sustainable Agriculture
dc.contributor.department Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites
dc.contributor.department Center for Crops Utilization Research
dc.date 2020-03-03T21:51:38.000
dc.date.accessioned 2020-06-29T22:37:00Z
dc.date.available 2020-06-29T22:37:00Z
dc.date.copyright Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2020
dc.date.issued 2020-02-27
dc.description.abstract <p>The stimulation of renewable fuel production is related to the environmental issues resulting from the extraction and utilization of fossil fuels. Although corn-based ethanol is one of the leading renewable fuels and promises to mitigate these environmental impacts, it generates large volumes of wastewater with high concentrations of organic material (COD<sub>cr</sub> > 30,000 mg/L) and low pH (3.5–4.5), which leads to serious environmental concerns. A common method of treatment of distillery wastewater is the Dry Distilled Grain Soluble (DDGS) process, which separates liquid and solid fractions; however, a disadvantage of this process is its high energy consumption. Other commonly implemented methods are often costly and not environmentally safe. To minimize these problems, a flocculation process can be applied as a potential lower energy consumption process utilizing bioflocculants, which have been proven harmless to the environment. Therefore, the main goal of this study was to analyze the economic and environmental impacts of using bioflocculants instead of evaporation process in a corn-based ethanol plant. The procedures were evaluated by analyzing the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Techno-Economic Analysis (TEA). From the results, it can be seen that the flocculation system can be an alternative process for effectively minimizing energy consumption during the production of DDGS, Distilled Wet Grains with Solubles (DWGS), and corn oil. The flocculation process achieved a significantly (28%) lower utility cost when compared to the conventional system. However, the overall fixed costs and annual operating costs for the flocculation system were higher than those of the conventional system. Additionally, both processes resulted in negative profit and a sensitivity analysis showed that the feedstocks cost substantially impacted the DDGS, DWGS, and corn oil production costs. Related to environmental aspects, the LCA results showed that the flocculation process achieved the lowest Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the several electricity supply technologies analyzed and presented a significant reduction in CO<sub>2</sub> equivalent emissions when compared to a conventional system. The flocculation process resulted in approximately 57% lower greenhouse gas emissions.</p>
dc.description.comments <p>This article is published as da Conceição T. B. e Oliveira, Maria and Kurt A. Rosentrater. "An Environmental and Economic Analysis of Flocculation Technology Applied to a Corn-Based Ethanol Plant." <em>Processes</em> 8, no. 3 (2020): 271. DOI: <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pr8030271" target="_blank">10.3390/pr8030271</a>. Posted with permission.</p>
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.identifier archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/abe_eng_pubs/1117/
dc.identifier.articleid 2402
dc.identifier.contextkey 16708864
dc.identifier.s3bucket isulib-bepress-aws-west
dc.identifier.submissionpath abe_eng_pubs/1117
dc.identifier.uri https://dr.lib.iastate.edu/handle/20.500.12876/820
dc.language.iso en
dc.source.bitstream archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/abe_eng_pubs/1117/2020_RosentraterKurt_EnvironmentalEconomicAnalysis.pdf|||Fri Jan 14 18:43:56 UTC 2022
dc.source.uri 10.3390/pr8030271
dc.subject.disciplines Agriculture
dc.subject.disciplines Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering
dc.subject.disciplines Energy Systems
dc.subject.disciplines Water Resource Management
dc.subject.keywords ethanol
dc.subject.keywords wastewater
dc.subject.keywords bioflocculants
dc.title An Environmental and Economic Analysis of Flocculation Technology Applied to a Corn-Based Ethanol Plant
dc.type article
dc.type.genre article
dspace.entity.type Publication
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