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Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2009 May;156(1-3):107-24. doi: 10.1007/s12010-008-8481-z. Epub 2009 Jan 28.

Carboxylate platform: the MixAlco process part 2: process economics.

Author information

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3122, USA.

Abstract

The MixAlco process employs a mixed culture of acid-forming microorganisms to convert biomass to carboxylate salts, which are concentrated via vapor-compression evaporation and subsequently chemically converted to other chemical and fuel products. To make alcohols, hydrogen is required, which can be supplied from a number of processes, including gasifying biomass, separation from fermentor gases, methane reforming, or electrolysis. Using zeolite catalysts, the alcohols can be oligomerized into hydrocarbons, such as gasoline. A 40-tonne/h plant processing municipal solid waste ($45/tonne tipping fee) and using hydrogen from a pipeline or refinery ($2.00/kg H(2)) can sell alcohols for $1.13/gal or gasoline for $1.75/gal with a 15% return on investment ($0.61/gal of alcohol or $0.99/gal of gasoline for cash costs only). The capital cost is $1.95/annual gallon of mixed alcohols. An 800-tonne/h plant processing high-yield biomass ($60/tonne) and gasifying fermentation residues and waste biomass to hydrogen ($1.42/kg H(2)) can sell alcohols for $1.33/gal or gasoline for $2.04/gal with a 15% return on investment ($1.08/gal of alcohol or $1.68/gal of gasoline for cash costs only). The capital cost for the alcohol and gasification plants at 800 tonne/h is $1.45/annual gallon of mixed alcohols.

PMID:
19184549
DOI:
10.1007/s12010-008-8481-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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