Techno-Economics of the Production of Mixed Alcohols from Lignocellulosic Biomass via High-Temperature Gasification

Abhijit Dutta, Richard L. Bain, Mary J. Biddy

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43 Scopus Citations


This techno-economic study investigates the production of mixed alcohols from lignocellulosic biomass using an entrained flow slagging gasifier. Similar analyses for 2000 dry tonne per day plants have been performed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory using indirect, and direct dry ash gasif iers. The use of a high-temperature entrained flow gasifier differs from the previous studies because it eliminates equipment for tar and methane reformation. The conversion targets for tar reforming in the previous studies, and for alcohol synthesis in all of the studies, are based on DOE's research goals for 2012. The conversion cost increased compared to both of the previous studies, assuming the achievement of the 2012 research targets. Feed handling, high oxygen demand, and a high gasifier capital cost are primarily responsible for the high cost projected by this study. It is understood that the achievement of research targets, maturity, reliability, relative complexities, and redundancy requirements will be the other keys to commercialization. The effect of key assumptions and uncertainties were evaluated using sensitivity analysis.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Progress and Sustainable Energy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-510-46431


  • Biomass
  • Economics
  • Entrained
  • Ethanol
  • Gasification
  • Slagging


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