Generating Electricity with Biomass Fuels at Ethanol Plants (RD-56)

This project focuses on evaluating alternatives for using biomass fuels (DDGS or other ethanol coproducts and/or corn stover) to generate electricity and process heat at ethanol plants. We believe this approach can positively impact key issues affecting the ethanol industry, such as

  • High energy (especially natural gas) prices
  • Potential interruption in natural gas supplies
  • Eroding prices for conventional coproducts
  • Availability, reliability, and cost of electricity from the grid
  • The renewable energy balance for ethanol production
  • Potential to deliver “firm”, renewable (green) electricity to the grid

Alternatives to be evaluated include:

  • Current technology - natural gas for process heat and electricity from coal or natural gas.
  • Biomass (DDGS, cornstover or combination) to provide process heat (PH) only by combustion or gasification.
  • Biomass (DDGS, cornstover or combination) to provide process heat and plant electricity (CHP) - waste heat from electric generation at temperatures sufficient to produce process steam.
  • Biomass (DDGS, cornstover or combination) to provide process heat, plant electricity, and electricity to grid (CHPG) - amount based on using all waste heat for process steam.

Presentations from the Meeting

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