Thursday, September 17, 2009

Distributed pre-processing for cellulosic ethanol

One of the biggest limitations for cellulosic ethanol is the need to transport huge quantities of bulky biomass. If this biomass can be easily processed to increase energy density near where it is harvested, this would decrease transportation cost. Pyrolysis is one such method. The result of pre-processing is then pyrolysis oil which could be shipped by pipeline or tanker. The article linked below hints at another possiblity--cellulosic sugar. This dry substance could be stored and shipped like grain.
BioFuels Journal - News & Information for the Ethanol and BioDiesel Industries: "Comet Biorefining has demonstrated this unique technology at pilot scale and estimates that cellulosic sugar can be produced for as low as 7 cents per pound based on laboratory testing."

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