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Powering corn ethanol with biomass

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Our initial evaluation indicates that the biomass co-products from the dry-grind ethanol
production process, particularly DDGS, are good sources for the electrical and thermal energy
needed to operate the plant, and even contain sufficient energy to produce excess power that can
be sold. However, the number of subsequent process steps required to reduce emissions to
compliance levels, particularly NOx, will be important in determining the economic viability of
using biomass co-products from dry grind ethanol plants for energy production.
The alkali metal content (potassium and sodium) of the ash is high (22 to 34 %) for co-products
and corn stover. Such high levels of alkali metals can lead to ash fouling in combustion and
steam generation units, and to potential agglomeration of bed material in fluidized bed systems.
We have developed a detailed analytical program to provide a good data set for completion of
other project elements, and for subsequent quantification of the financial impact of using the coproducts for energy production at the ethanol plant.


Written by Casey McConnell

April 9, 2008 at 5:32 am

Posted in Bioenergy

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