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 21, 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 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Flying (Oct. 20, 2014) Watch Gulfstream's public launch of the G500 and G600 at their headquarters in Savannah, Ga., along with a surprise unveiling of the G500, which taxied up under its own power. Video provided by Flying
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Microsoft will reportedly release a smartwatch that works across different mobile platforms, has a two-day battery life and tracks heart rate. Video provided by Newsy
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