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Breaking the Cost Barrier for Bio-Ethanol: Reactive Adsorption of Fermentation Broth

2007 DOT-RITA Seed Award

 

PI: Dr. Mary Rezac (Kansas State University, Chemical Engineering)

Funded: $70,000

Start Date: 7/1/2007

End Date: 6/30/2009

 

Expected Outcomes

An ethanol recovery system that eliminates the highly energy intensive distillation process provides a route to making substantial reductions in the cost of ethanol production. Energy costs are expected to be reduced by 40%. Capital costs should also be reduced due to reduced complexity.

 

This breakthrough technology will enable the entire concept of a biorefinery to be more rapidly advanced. Replacing the current petrochemical feedstocks with renewable biomass for transportation fuel production will lead to economic opportunities for rural America, more stable prices for transportation fuels, and a reduced dependence on foreign oil to power the American economy. Furthermore, adsorption systems can easily be scaled down providing a route to the construction of smaller-scale biorefineries which are likely to promote rural economic development.

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