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WHY CELLULOSIC ETHANOL IS NEARER THAN YOU MAY THINK Bruce E. Dale Dept. of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science Michigan State University www.everythingbiomass.org.

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Presentation on theme: "WHY CELLULOSIC ETHANOL IS NEARER THAN YOU MAY THINK Bruce E. Dale Dept. of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science Michigan State University www.everythingbiomass.org."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHY CELLULOSIC ETHANOL IS NEARER THAN YOU MAY THINK Bruce E. Dale Dept. of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science Michigan State University www.everythingbiomass.org Presented at: 2007 NACAA Conference Grand Rapids, Michigan July 16, 2007

2 1978 – 2007 CRUDE OIL PRICES IT PAYS TO BE PATIENT My career begins President Bush promotes cellulosic ethanol

3 Linked Sustainability Challenges of the Coming Decades Diversify transportation fuels & end strategic role of petroleum in the world Provide food for growing & wealthier population (which will consume more meat) Control greenhouse gases & limit other human emissions (for example, nitrogen & phosphorus discharge to ground & surface waters) Provide economic opportunities for rural people These challenges & opportunities intersect at biofuels, particularly cellulosic biofuels Abundant opportunities for creative design & system level thinking

4 Some Basic Energy Facts 1.We do not need energy…we need services that energy provides 2.The services we need from energy are (current sources or carriers of these energy services) Heat (natural gas, coal) Light (coal, natural gas, hydro & nuclear) Mobility (petroleum97%, rest is ethanol) 3.Energy has fundamentally different qualities: carriers are not all interchangeable All BTU are not created equal 4.Industrial society literally stops without liquid fuels 5.Liquid fuels: not energy are required for mobility for the next few decades at least!

5 STOPS The Problem: Our Society STOPS Without Liquid Fuels!

6 All Energy Carriers do Not Have Equal Strategic Importance Either 1.Coal– U.S. & China have huge domestic reserves 2.Natural gasimports significant, mostly from Canada and Mexico 3.Petroleum– more than 60% imported (U.S.) and rising We (U.S.) are addicted to oil President Bush Oil revenues sustain oppressive & aggressive regimes Oil used as a political weapon Oil revenues finance international terrorism 4.Petroleum dependence undermines 1.climate security (a chief source of greenhouse gases) 2.economic security (no fuels = no movement of goods = no trade = no prosperity) 3.international security & world stability

7 Options for Dealing with Petroleum Issue 1.Decrease demand More petroleum efficient vehicles –Better mileage (start measuring vehicle efficiency by petroleum per mile or miles per gallon gasoline –Electrical/hybrid vehicles Fewer miles traveled (better planning) 2.Increase supply Athabasca oil sands (Canada) Oil shale (U.S.) Super heavy oil (Venezuela) Coal to liquid fuels (U.S., South Africa, China) Biofuels –Biodiesel –Ethanol (from sugar, from corn, from cellulosics)

8 Why Biofuels? Biofuels, including cellulosic ethanol, are one of a small handful of petroleum alternatives that can provide: –(inter) national security advantages –large greenhouse gas reductions –economic advantages (lower cost fuels than petroleum fuels) This presentation emphasizes cellulosic ethanol –From agricultural and forestry residues –From energy crops

9 Distillation Ethanol Drying Co-Product Recovery Animal Feed Chemicals Corn Process Ferment- ation Sugar Corn Kernels Starch Conversion (Cook or Enzymatic Hydrolysis) Ethanol Production Flowchart

10 Distillation Ethanol Drying Co-Product Recovery Animal Feed Chemicals Sugar Cane Process Corn Process Ferment- ation Sugar Sugar Cane Corn Kernels Starch Conversion (Cook or Enzymatic Hydrolysis) Ethanol Production Flowchart

11 Distillation Ethanol Drying Co-Product Recovery Animal Feed Chemicals Sugar Cane Process Cellulose Conversion Hydrolysis Corn Process Cellulose Process Cellulose Pretreatment Cellulose Crop residues: corn stover, rice straw, wheat straw, etc. Forestry residues/slash Energy crops: switchgrass, poplar, Miscanthus, many others Municipal & construction wastes, etc Ferment- ation Sugar Sugar Cane Corn Kernels Starch Conversion (Cook or Enzymatic Hydrolysis) Ethanol Production Flowchart

12 Distillation Ethanol Drying Co-Product Recovery Animal Feed Chemicals Sugar Cane Process Cellulose Conversion Hydrolysis Corn Process Cellulose Process Thermochemical Conversion Heat and Power Fuels and Chemicals Cellulose Pretreatment Cellulose Corn Stover Switchgrass MSW Forest Residues Ag Residues Wood Chips Ferment- ation Sugar Sugar Cane Corn Kernels Starch Conversion (Cook or Enzymatic Hydrolysis) Ethanol Production Flowchart

13 Major Cost Elements: Petroleum Fuels & Biofuels For all commodity products (fuels, bulk chemicals, semiconductor chips, potato chips, etc.) two things determine the final selling price: 1.Cost of raw material (the feedstock) 2.Cost of processing the feedstock to the desired product(s) For gasoline, diesel, etc. the cost to make them depends on petroleum cost (70%) and processing cost (30%)

14 Forages & hay crops-typical prices Plant material is much, much cheaper than oil on both energy & mass basis Our margin for processing: here to here and beyond Adapted from Lynd & Wyman

15 Impact of Processing Improvements: Oils Past & Future Historically, petrochemical processing costs exceeded feedstock costs Petroleum processing efficiencies have increased and costs have decreased dramatically but reaching point of diminishing returns Petroleum raw materials have long-term issues –Costs will continue to increase as supplies tighten –High price variability –Impacts national security –Climate security concerns –Not renewable Not a pretty picture for our petroleum dependent society Relative Cost Oil Processing From J. Stoppert, 2005

16 Brazil Has Been Reducing Sugar Ethanol Costs for 30 Years Cellulosic Ethanol Costs Have Declined and Will Decrease More! Ethanol-Brazil Gasoline-Rotterdam

17 Impact of Processing Improvements: The Future of Cellulosic Biomass Conversion Processing is dominant cost of cellulosic biofuels today Cellulosic biomass costs should be stable or decrease Processing costs dominated by pretreatment, enzymes & fermentation Biomass processing costs must (& will) decrease Two ways to do this: 1.Learning by doing in large scale plants 2.Applied (cost focused) research Much more attractive future –Domestically produced fuels –Environmental improvements –Rural/regional economic development Processing Biomass ? Relative Cost Adapted from J. Stoppert, 2005

18 Testing AFEX pretreatment technology

19 Key Processing Cost Elements Capital Recovery Charge Raw Materials Process Elect. Grid Electricity Total Plant Electricity Fixed Costs Biomass Feedstock Feed Handling Pretreatment / Conditioning SSCF Cellulase Distillation and Solids Recovery Wastewater Treatment Boiler/Turbogenerator Utilities Storage (0.20)(0.10)-0.100.200.300.40 33% 5% 18% 12% 9% 10% 4% Net 4% 4% 1% (after ~10x cost reduction) Biomass Refining CAFI

20 Ethanol recovery Enzymatic hydrolysis Sugar fermentation Hydrolyzate conditioning Central Role and Pervasive Impact of Pretreatment for Biological Processing Hydrolyzate fermentation Enzyme production Biomass production Harvesting, storage, size reduction Residue utilization Waste treatment Pretreatment Biomass Refining CAFI

21 DOE 2005 Cellulosic Biomass Production Biomass Conversion Research Lab at Michigan State Works Here Using AFEX Process Cellulosic Biomass to Ethanol

22 ReactorExplosion Ammonia Recovery Biomass Treated Biomass Recycle Ammonia Gaseous Ammonia ReactorExpansion Ammonia Recovery Biomass Treated Biomass Ammonia Gaseous Ammonia Heat Biomass heated (~100 C) with concentrated ammonia Rapid pressure release ends treatment 99% of ammonia is recovered & reused, remainder serves as N source downstream for fermentation AFEX covered by multiple U. S. and international patents Sugars not degraded, fermentation inhibitors NOT produced How does AFEX work?

23 Before and After AFEX

24 Pretreatment Economic Analysis by NREL Cash Cost Plant Level MESP Proof Year: 4th Year of Operation $/gal EtOH AFEX: $1.41/gal

25 Results of AFEX Economic Analysis* Reduce ammonia loadings Reduce required ammonia recycle concentrations (manage system water) Reduce capital cost of AFEX *Analysis performed by Dr. Tim Eggeman of NREL

26 Improvements in AFEX Give Improved Ethanol MESP 2,205 dry ton/day scale Reduced ammonia loading & concentration Plus new ammonia recovery approach Original estimate

27 Final Result will be Low Cost Ethanol from Cellulose 2,205 dry ton/day scale

28 Ethanol from Cellulosics: Look for Fast Growth! courtesy Dr. Steve Long UICU

29 What Happens Because of Inexpensive Ethanol? Petroleum dominance declines –Reduce petroleums influence on prosperity & politics –Less chance for international conflict –Greater economic growth opportunities for poor nations Environmental improvements possible –Reduced greenhouse gases –Reduced nitrogen & phosphorus-related pollution –Improved soil fertility Rural economic development possible – Local cellulosic biomass processing –Greater wealth accumulation in rural areas –Less migration to cities to find economic opportunity Less expensive food (animal feed) possible –Improved animal feeds: protein & calories –Less expensive, more abundant human food

30 Will People Go Hungry Because of Biofuels? Three major U.S. crops alone (corn, soy, wheat) produce 1300 trillion kcal & 51 trillion grams protein/yr Could meet U.S. human demand for protein & calories with 25 million acres of corn (~5% of our cropland) Most U. S. agricultural production (inc. exports) is fed to animals-- i.e., we are meeting their protein/calorie needs from our land resources. Their needs are: –1040 trillion kcal/yr ( 5 times human demand) – 56.6 trillion gm protein/yr (10 times human demand) Thus we can address perceived food vs. fuel conflict by providing animal feeds more efficiently, on less land Dairy & beef cattle consume more than 70% of all calories and protein fed to livestock As nations grow richer, they want more protein, especially more meat….

31 U.S. Livestock Consumption of Calories & Protein HERD SIZE TOTAL PROTEINTOTAL ENERGY ANIMAL CLASS (THOUSANDS)(MILLION KG/YR)(TRILLION CAL/YR) Dairy 15,35010,400184.8 Beef 72,64525,100525.3 Hogs 60,2346,900136.2 Sheep 10,00646110.6 Egg production 446,9002,4704.3 Broilers produced 8,542,0009,540150.3 Turkeys produced 269,5001,76028.6 Total consumed by U.S. livestock 56,6301,040.00 Human requirements 5,114205

32 Coproducing Animal Feeds and Biofuels Must supply animals (fish, poultry, swine, cattle) with: –Calories (food energy), and –Protein Can grow grasses with high protein content & recover the protein with well-known (since 1945) technology Grasses/crop residues/woody materials also have lots of calories as sugars locked up in plant cell walls. Pretreatment processes required to unlock these sugars to make cellulosic ethanol could also unlock these sugars for ruminant animal feeding Cellulose-based biorefineries could also be in the animal feed business: this is a really important food vs. fuel opportunity

33 Ruminant Animals & Biorefineries: Improve Cellulose Conversion for Biorefinery = Improve Cellulose Digestibility for Cows Lots of Hay Mobile Cellulose Biorefinery (a.k.a. Cow) Stationary Cellulose Biorefinery Ruminant Bioreactor: Capacity ~ 40 Gal Fermentor Biomass Input ~ 26 Lb/Day * SSCF Bioreactor: Biomass Input ~ 5,000 Dry Ton/Day = 10 M Dry Lb/Day Capacity ~ 45 M Gal Fermentor *Rasby, Rick. Estimating Daily Forage Intake of Cows. University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, http://beef.unl.edu/stories/200608210.shtml, 10/02/06. Cow is 3x more efficient than industrial bioreactor =

34 What Might the Future Look Like? Land available (million acres) –Cropland (430): corn, wheat, soy, sorghum, alfalfa, hay, CRP –Permanent pasture (570)- half suitable for mechanical harvest –Most of these acres suitable for perennial grasses –Does NOT include forests Assume we can develop a pretreated perennial grass yielding 10 tons/acre/yr with 10% protein, 75% cellulose + hemicellulose (90% digestible), 15% lignin and ash Supply ruminants 710 trillion cal/yr & 36 trillion grams protein/yr using ~40 million acres of productive grasses Leaves available >600 million acres for other feeds, human foods and biofuel production I simply do not agree that land for food is a limiting resource for biofuel productionanimal feed is the issue

35 Thinking Ahead: Farmers & Biofuels More than a century of bitter experience has taught farmers that when they simply sell a raw crop, they fall ever further behind. David Morris The American Prospect April 2006

36 Capturing Local Benefits from Biofuels Some issues for farmers/local interests –If farmers merely supply biomass, they will not benefit much from the biofuels revolution –Investment required for cellulosic ethanol biorefinery is huge ~ $250 million and updifficult for farmers to participate Some issues for biofuel firms/larger society –Supply chain issues are enormousneed 5,000 ton/day from ~1,000 farmers: chemicals/fuels industries have zero experience with such large agricultural systems –Cellulosic biomass is bulky, difficult to transport –Need to resolve food vs. fuel problem: actually animal feed and fuel opportunity Is there a common solution? –Regional Biomass Processing Center– concept worthy of study –Pretreat biomass for biorefinery & ruminant (cattle) feeding –Much lower capital requirementsaccessible to rural interests –Develop additional products over timeanimal feed protein, enzymes, nutraceuticals, biobased composites, etc

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44 Ethanol: Some Myths and Realities Myth: Ethanol has a negative net energy Reality: Gasolines net energy is worse than ethanols and anyway this metric is irrelevant Myth: Ethanol will drive up food prices Reality: Complicated: no easy sound bites for fuels derived from oilseeds or grains. Cellulosic ethanol will reduce food prices Myth: Ethanol is bad for the environment Reality: Compared with what? Corn ethanol is superior to gasoline now for most metrics. Cellulosic ethanol will be even better Myth: Ethanol will always cost more than gasoline Reality: Ethanol from corn costs ~$1.20/gal; ethanol from cellulosics, when mature, will cost $0.60/gal

45 1978 – 2007 CRUDE OIL PRICES IT PAYS TO BE PATIENT My career begins President Bush promotes cellulosic ethanol

46 Absolutely!

47 Questions ??


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