(348e) Techno-Economic Evaluation of Lignocellulosic Biofuels As a Function of Pretreatment Technology

Konda, N. V. S. N. M., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Klein-Marcuschamer, D., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Simmons, B. A., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Blanch, H. W., University of California, Berkeley

In order to facilitate widespread adoption, biofuels must be produced in an economically viable and environmentally sustainable way. While lignocellulosic biofuels have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to fossil fuels and first-generation biofuels, they are still expensive compared to these alternatives. One of the main aims of the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) is thus developing technologies to reduce production costs and accelerate the adoption of biofuels. Economic viability of these technologies can be gauged by detailed techno-economic analysis based on rigorous models. Previous work from JBEI and other groups [1-5] has demonstrated the invaluable insight such analyses offer to better understand the current state of these technologies and the effect that innovation can have in lowering production costs. In the current work, various biofuel production pathways were studied using a techno-economic model built using SuperPro that are based on the pretreatment technologies being developed by the community, with particular emphasis on the advances generated by JBEI. The economic potential of these pathways will be described, evaluated, and discussed.  


  1. Aden A. et al., (2002) Lignocellulosic Biomass to Ethanol Process Design and Economics Utilizing Co-Current Dilute Acid Prehydrolysis and Enzymatic Hydrolysis for Corn Stover. NREL.
  2. Humbird D. et al., (2011) Process Design and Economics for Biochemical Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Ethanol Dilute-Acid Pretreatment and Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Corn Stover. NREL.
  3. Klein-Marcuschamer et al. (2010) Technoeconomic analysis of biofuels: A wiki-based platform for lignocellulosic biorefineries. Biomass and Bioenergy, 34, 1914-1921.
  4. Klein-Marcuschamer et al. (2011) Techno-economic analysis of lignocellulosic ethanol biorefinery with ionic liquid pre-treatment. Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. I Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefinery.
  5. Klein-Marcuschamer et al. (2012) The challenge of enzyme cost in the production of lignocellulosic biofuels. Biotechnology and bioengineering. 109 (4), 1083-1087.