Publication Details

Title : Life-Cycle Assessment of Corn-Based Butanol as a Potential Transportation Fuel
Publication Date : November 01, 2007
Authors : M. Wu, M. Wang, J. Liu, H. Huo
Abstract : This report documents the development and simulation of corn-based butanol through advanced ABE (acetone, butanol, and ethanol) fermentation. The production pathway produces bio-butanol as a fuel blend, large quantity of co-product bio-acetone, and small amount of bio-ethanol. First, a process simulation for corn-based butanol production was conducted using ASPEN Plus. The simulation was partly based on USDA's corn ethanol dry-mill process model for the process steps prior to fermentation. The upstream production process steps were integrated into ABE fermentation and downstream processing for products separation, which was simulated using the most recent literature values. Results from the ASPEN model served as inputs to estimate life cycle energy use and associated emissions. The report also presents a WTW bio-butanol used in LDV and a cradle-to-gate analysis of bio-acetone. Results from this effort were incorporated into GREET for the corn butanol pathway and corn ethanol pathway.

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