facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Advanced biofuels production costs decline

Aug. 13, 2007 at 3:22 PM   |   Comments

AMES, Iowa, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. study shows the costs of operating second generation plants that make biofuel from feedstocks such as straw, grasses and wood are declining.

Such biorefineries have been touted as the successor to grain ethanol plants, but until now the technology has been considered too expensive to compete. Iowa State University researchers determined production costs are now similar for grain ethanol and second generation biofuels.

The researchers compared capital and operating costs of generating fuel from starch and cellulose-containing materials.

They found capital costs for 150-million-gallon gasoline equivalent capacity range from around $111 million for a conventional grain ethanol plant to $854 million for an advanced plant. But the difference in the final fuel cost was less severe, being $1.74 for grain ethanol when corn costs $3.00 per bushel and $1.80 for cellulosic biofuel when biomass costs $50 per ton.

"Although the costs of production are comparable for grain ethanol and cellulosic biofuels, the much higher capital costs of the cellulosic plants will be an impediment to their commercialization," said ISU graduate student Mark Wright, one of the paper’s authors.

The research appears in the journal Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining.

Topics: Mark Wright
© 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Audi gets permit to test self-driving cars in California Audi gets permit to test self-driving cars in California
2
Say goodbye to Chinese sturgeon Say goodbye to Chinese sturgeon
3
Apple's latest operating system rolls out Wednesday afternoon Apple's latest operating system rolls out Wednesday afternoon
4
First 3D-printed car unveiled in Chicago First 3D-printed car unveiled in Chicago
5
Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback