Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Engineers Devise New Process To Improve Energy Efficiency Of Ethanol Production

Date:
January 27, 2007
Source:
Carnegie Mellon University
Summary:
Carnegie Mellon University chemical engineers have a devised a new process that can improve the efficiency of ethanol production, a major component in making biofuels a significant part of the U.S. energy supply.

Carnegie Mellon University Chemical Engineers have devised a new process that can improve the efficiency of ethanol production, a major component in making biofuels a significant part of the U.S. energy supply.

Carnegie Mellon researchers have used advanced process design methods combined with mathematical optimization techniques to reduce the operating costs of corn-based bio-ethanol plants by more than 60 percent.

The key to the Carnegie Mellon strategy involves redesigning the distillation process by using a multi-column system together with a network for energy recovery that ultimately reduces the consumption of steam, a major energy component in the production of corn-based ethanol.

"This new design reduces the manufacturing cost for producing ethanol by 11 percent, from $1.61 a gallon to $1.43 a gallon,'' said Chemical Engineering Professor Ignacio E. Grossmann, who completed the research with graduate students Ramkumar Karuppiah, Andreas Peschel and Mariano Martin. "This research also is an important step in making the production of ethanol more energy efficient and economical .''

For a long time, corn-based ethanol was considered a questionable energy resource. Today, 46 percent of the nation's gasoline contains some percentage of ethanol. And demand is driven by a federal mandate that 5 percent of the nation's gasoline supply -- roughly 7.5 billion gallons -- contain some ethanol by 2012.

Corn is most often used to produce ethanol, but it can be made from grains, sugar beats, potato and beverage wastes and switchgrass.

The research was conducted through the Chemical Engineering Department's Center of Advanced Process Decision-making in collaboration with Minneapolis-based Cargill, an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management services and products.

"As a result of the explosive growth of the U.S. fuel ethanol industry, we decided to collaborate with Professor Grossmann's team to verify how process synthesis tools could be applied to improve the production of ethanol from corn. The work done at Carnegie Mellon demonstrated the potential for considerable capital and energy cost savings in the corn to ethanol process. We look forward to the time when the tools developed by Carnegie Mellon researchers will become part of industry's new toolkit for making the process even more economical and sustainable," said Luca C. Zullo, technical director of Cargill Emissions Reduction Services.

In the United States, ethanol production began in the late 1980s with a handful of plants producing about 170 million gallons. More than 25 years later, the industry has 107 plants that produced more than 5 billion gallons last year.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Mellon University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Mellon University. "Engineers Devise New Process To Improve Energy Efficiency Of Ethanol Production." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070126185045.htm>.
Carnegie Mellon University. (2007, January 27). Engineers Devise New Process To Improve Energy Efficiency Of Ethanol Production. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070126185045.htm
Carnegie Mellon University. "Engineers Devise New Process To Improve Energy Efficiency Of Ethanol Production." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070126185045.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Japan Looks To Faster Future As Bullet Train Turns 50

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Japan's bullet train turns 50 Wednesday. Here's a look at how it's changed over half a century — and the changes it's inspired globally. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

Raw: Japan Celebrates 'bullet Train' Anniversary

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) A ceremony marking 50 years since Japan launched its Shinkansen bullet train was held on Wednesday in Tokyo. The latest model can travel from Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 319 miles, in two hours and 25 minutes. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins