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 1978 2007 CRUDE OIL PRICES IT PAYS TO BE PATIENT President Bush promotes cellulosic ethanol My career begins 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 Some Basic Energy Facts 1. We do not need energywe 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! The Problem: Our Society STOPS Without Liquid Fuels! 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 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) 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 Ethanol Production Flowchart Corn Process Sugar Corn Kernels Starch
Conversion (Cook or Enzymatic Hydrolysis) Fermentation Distillation Co-Product Recovery Animal Feed Chemicals Drying Ethanol Ethanol Production Flowchart Corn Process Sugar Cane Process Sugar
Corn Stover Switchgrass MSW Forest Residues Ag Residues Wood Chips Thermochemical Conversion Heat and Power Fuels and Chemicals Ethanol
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%) Adapted from Lynd & Wyman 160 Energy content 140 Cost of biomass, $/ton
120 100 80 60 Forages & hay crops-typical prices 40 Our margin for processing: here to here and beyond 20 0 0 10 20 30
40 50 60 Cost of oil, $/barrel ant material is much, much cheaper than oil on both energy & mass basi Impact of Processing Improvements: Oils Past & Future Historically, petrochemical processing costs exceeded feedstock costs Relative Cost Processing Petroleum processing efficiencies have increased
and costs have decreased dramatically but reaching point of diminishing returns Oil Petroleum raw materials have long-term issues Early Years Today's Mature Processes Oil Costs will continue to increase as supplies tighten High price variability Impacts national security Climate security concerns Not renewable
Future Processing From J. Stoppert, 2005 Not a pretty picture for our petroleum dependent society Brazil Has Been Reducing Sugar Ethanol Costs for 30 Years Cellulosic Ethanol Costs Have Declined and Will Decrease More! Ethanol-Brazil Gasoline-Rotterdam Impact of Processing Improvements: The Future of Cellulosic Biomass Conversion Processing
Relative Cost Biomass Biomass ? 1. Learning by doing in large scale plants 2. Applied (cost focused) research Today
Future Adapted from J. Stoppert, 2005 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: Much more attractive future Domestically produced fuels
Environmental improvements Rural/regional economic development Testing AFEX pretreatment technology Key Processing Cost Elements 33% Biomass Feedstock 5% Feed Handling Capital Recovery Charge Grid Electricity SSCF Raw Materials
Cellulase 12% 9% Distillation and Solids Recovery Total Plant Electricity (after ~10x cost reduction) 10% Wastewater Treatment Process Elect. Fixed Costs 18%
Cellulosic Biomass to Ethanol Cellulosic Biomass Production Biomass Conversion Research Lab at Michigan State Works Here Using AFEX Process DOE 2005 How does AFEX work? Recycle Ammonia Biomass Reactor Ammonia Recovery
Heat Gaseous Ammonia Explosion Expansion Treated Biomass 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 Before and After AFEX
Pretreatment Economic Analysis by NREL $/gal EtOH Proof Year: 4th Year of Operation 1.75 AFEX: $1.41/gal 1.50 1.25 1.00 0.75 MESP Cash Cost
0.50 Plant Level 0.25 0.00 Dilute Acid Net Stover Other Variable Hot Water AFEX Fixed w/o Depreciation ARP
Depreciation Lime Income Tax Corn Dry Mill Return on Capital 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 Improvements in AFEX Give Improved Ethanol MESP Stover Feedstock Cost Processing Cost
$1.60 $1.40 MESP ($/gal) $1.20 $1.00 Original estimate2,205 dry ton/day scale Reduced ammonia loading & concentration Plus new ammonia recovery approach $0.80 $0.60 $0.40 $0.20 $0.00 NREL-2004 SSF-COMP- SSF-NEWUPD UPD
CBP-NEWUPD Simulation Mature Final Result will be Low Cost Ethanol from Cellulose Stover Feedstock Cost $1.60 Processing Cost 2,205 dry ton/day scale MESP ($/gal) $1.40 D $1.20
~$0.62 $1.00 $0.80 $0.60 $0.40 $0.20 $0.00 NREL-2004 SSF-COMPUPD SSF-NEWUPD Simulation CBP-NEWUPD Mature Ethanol from Cellulosics: Look for Fast Growth!
courtesy Dr. Steve Long UICU 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 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. U.S. Livestock Consumption of Calories & Protein HERD SIZE
TOTAL PROTEIN TOTAL ENERGY (THOUSANDS) (MILLION KG/YR) (TRILLION CAL/YR) Dairy 15,350 10,400 184.8 Beef
Egg production 446,900 2,470 4.3 Broilers produced 8,542,000 9,540 150.3 Turkeys produced 269,500 1,760
28.6 Total consumed by U.S. livestock 56,630 1,040.00 Human requirements 5,114 205 ANIMAL CLASS 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 Ruminant Animals & Biorefineries: Improve Cellulose Conversion for Biorefinery = Improve Cellulose Digestibility for Cows Mobile Cellulose Biorefinery (a.k.a. Cow) = Stationary Cellulose Biorefinery Lot of s
Hay Ruminant Bioreactor: SSCF Bioreactor: Biomass Input ~ 26 Lb/Day* Biomass Input ~ 5,000 Dry Ton/Day = 10 M Dry Lb/Day Capacity ~ 45 M Gal Fermentor Capacity ~ 40 Gal Fermentor Cow is 3x more efficient than industrial bioreactor *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. 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 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 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 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 1978 2007 CRUDE OIL PRICES IT PAYS TO BE PATIENT President Bush promotes cellulosic ethanol My career begins Absolutely! Questions ??
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