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Title: Preliminary Economics for Hydrocarbon Fuel Production from Cellulosic Sugars

Biorefinery process and economic models built in CHEMCAD and a preliminary, genome-scale metabolic model for the oleaginous yeast Lipomyces starkeyi were used to simulate the bioconversion of corn stover to lipids, and the upgrading of these hydrocarbon precursors to diesel and jet fuel. The metabolic model was based on the recently released genome sequence for L. starkeyi and on metabolic pathway information from the literature. The process model was based on bioconversion, lipid extraction, and lipid oil upgrading data found in literature, on new laboratory experimental data, and on yield predictions from the preliminary L. starkeyi metabolic model. The current plant gate production cost for a distillate-range hydrocarbon fuel was estimated by the process model Base Case to be $9.5/gallon ($9.0 /gallon of gasoline equivalent) with assumptions of 2011$, 10% internal return on investment, and 2205 ton/day dry feed rate. Opportunities for reducing the cost to below $5.0/gallon, such as improving bioconversion lipid yield and hydrogenation catalyst selectivity, are presented in a Target Case. The process and economic models developed for this work will be updated in 2014 with new experimental data and predictions from a refined metabolic network model for L. starkeyi. Attaining a production cost of $3.0/gallon willmore » require finding higher value uses for lignin other than power generation, such as conversion to additional fuel or to a co-product.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
47483; BM0101020
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
DOE EERE Bioenergy Technologies Office; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory