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Title: Cellulosic ethanol: status and innovation

Abstract

Although the purchase price of cellulosic feedstocks is competitive with petroleum on an energy basis, the cost of lignocellulose conversion to ethanol using today's technology is high. Cost reductions can be pursued via either in-paradigm or new-paradigm innovation. Here, as an example of new-paradigm innovation, consolidated bioprocessing using thermophilic bacteria combined with milling during fermentation (cotreatment) is analyzed. Acknowledging the nascent state of this approach, our analysis indicates potential for radically improved cost competitiveness and feasibility at smaller scale compared to current technology, arising from (a) R&D-driven advances (consolidated bioprocessing with cotreatment in lieu of thermochemical pretreatment and added fungal cellulase), and (b) configurational changes (fuel pellet coproduction instead of electricity, gas boiler(s) in lieu of a solid fuel boiler).

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [3];  [2];  [2];  [1];  [3];  [4]
  1. Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Lemont, IL (United States)
  4. Univ. of California, Riverside, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1364156
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5100-68702
Journal ID: ISSN 0958-1669
Grant/Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308; AC05-00OR22725; AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Current Opinion in Biotechnology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 45; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0958-1669
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; cellulosic feedstocks; conversion; bioprocessing; fermentation

Citation Formats

Lynd, Lee R., Liang, Xiaoyu, Biddy, Mary J., Allee, Andrew, Cai, Hao, Foust, Thomas, Himmel, Michael E., Laser, Mark S., Wang, Michael, and Wyman, Charles E. Cellulosic ethanol: status and innovation. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2017.03.008.
Lynd, Lee R., Liang, Xiaoyu, Biddy, Mary J., Allee, Andrew, Cai, Hao, Foust, Thomas, Himmel, Michael E., Laser, Mark S., Wang, Michael, & Wyman, Charles E. Cellulosic ethanol: status and innovation. United States. doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2017.03.008.
Lynd, Lee R., Liang, Xiaoyu, Biddy, Mary J., Allee, Andrew, Cai, Hao, Foust, Thomas, Himmel, Michael E., Laser, Mark S., Wang, Michael, and Wyman, Charles E. 2017. "Cellulosic ethanol: status and innovation". United States. doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2017.03.008.
@article{osti_1364156,
title = {Cellulosic ethanol: status and innovation},
author = {Lynd, Lee R. and Liang, Xiaoyu and Biddy, Mary J. and Allee, Andrew and Cai, Hao and Foust, Thomas and Himmel, Michael E. and Laser, Mark S. and Wang, Michael and Wyman, Charles E.},
abstractNote = {Although the purchase price of cellulosic feedstocks is competitive with petroleum on an energy basis, the cost of lignocellulose conversion to ethanol using today's technology is high. Cost reductions can be pursued via either in-paradigm or new-paradigm innovation. Here, as an example of new-paradigm innovation, consolidated bioprocessing using thermophilic bacteria combined with milling during fermentation (cotreatment) is analyzed. Acknowledging the nascent state of this approach, our analysis indicates potential for radically improved cost competitiveness and feasibility at smaller scale compared to current technology, arising from (a) R&D-driven advances (consolidated bioprocessing with cotreatment in lieu of thermochemical pretreatment and added fungal cellulase), and (b) configurational changes (fuel pellet coproduction instead of electricity, gas boiler(s) in lieu of a solid fuel boiler).},
doi = {10.1016/j.copbio.2017.03.008},
journal = {Current Opinion in Biotechnology},
number = C,
volume = 45,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 5
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
This content will become publicly available on May 18, 2018
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  • Although the purchase price of cellulosic feedstocks is competitive with petroleum on an energy basis, the cost of lignocellulose conversion to ethanol using today’s technology is high. Cost reductions can be pursued via either in-paradigm or new-paradigm innovation. As an example of new-paradigm innovation, consolidated bioprocessing using thermophilic bacteria combined with milling during fermentation (cotreatment) is analyzed. Acknowledging the nascent state of this approach, our analysis indicates potential for radically improved cost competitiveness and feasibility at smaller scale compared to current technology, arising from (a) R&D-driven advances (consolidated bioprocessing with cotreatment in lieu of thermochemical pretreatment and added fungal cellulase),more » and (b) configurational changes (fuel pellet coproduction instead of electricity, gas boiler(s) in lieu of a solid fuel boiler).« less
  • The fermentation of various saccharides derived from cellulosic biomass to ethanol was examined in mono- and cocultures of Clostridium thermocellum strain LQRI and C. thermohydrosulfuricum strain 39E. C. thermohydrosulfuricum fermented glucose, cellobiose, and xylose, but not cellulose or xylan, and yielded ethanol/acetate ratios of >7.0 C. thermocellum fermented a variety of cellulosic substrates, glucose, and cellobiose, but not xylan or xylose, and yielded ethanol/acetate ratios of approx. 1.0. A stable coculture that contained nearly equal numbers of C. thermocellum and C. thermohydrosulfuricum was established that fermented a variety of cellulosic substrates, and the ethanol yield observed was twofold higher thanmore » in C. thermocellum monoculture fermentations. The metabolic basis for the enhanced fermentation effectiveness of the coculture on Solka Floc cellulose included: the ability of C. thermocellum cellulase to hydrolyze ..cap alpha..-cellulose and hemicellulose; the enhanced utilization of mono- and disaccharides by C. thermohydrosulfuricum; increased cellulose consumption; threefold increase in the ethanol production rate; and twofold decrease in the acetate production rate.« less