Chapter 15: Economics of Pretreatment for Biological Processing

Ling Tao, Andy Aden, Richard T. Elander

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations


This chapter provides pretreatment technologies into a more applied setting. Specifically, the importance of pretreatment of lignocellulosic feedstocks in the overall economics of the biorefinery is discussed along with key parameters that influence pretreatment economics. Understanding the economics of pretreatment for biological conversion processes is crucially important for several reasons; it often represents a significant fraction of the overall cost of conversion and pretreatment impacts many of the downstream unit operations within the process, thus influencing their performance and economics as well. The chapter demonstrates several processes and economic aspects of pretreatment: the fraction of overall processing costs represented by pretreatment, the impact of pretreatment on downstream unit operations and their respective economics, the role key process parameters play on pretreatment economics and economic tradeoffs within the biorefinery, comparative analyses between multiple chemical pretreatments, and the need for assessing future economic biomass pretreatment technologies.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAqueous Pretreatment of Plant Biomass for Biological and Chemical Conversion to Fuels and Chemicals
EditorsC. E. Wyman
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9780470972021
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-510-49247


  • Biological processing
  • Biomass
  • Biorefinery
  • Lignocellulosic feedstocks
  • Pretreatment economic analysis
  • Pretreatment technologies


Dive into the research topics of 'Chapter 15: Economics of Pretreatment for Biological Processing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this