Steady-state process simulation and techno-economic analysis: Biochemical conversion to ethanol 

National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) biochemical conversion analysis program performs detailed techno-economic analysis (TEA) modeling of biochemical pathways across a variety of target products including ethanol, other alcohols, hydrocarbon fuels and chemical products.

NREL’s TEA modeling currently considers two primary integrated biochemical conversion pathways: Biological Pathway Analysis and Catalytic Pathway Analysis.

Biological Pathway Analysis is focused on fermentative upgrading of sugars and other components to fuel precursor intermediates and/or bioproducts. Catalytic Pathway Analysis is focused on catalytic upgrading of sugars, sugar derivatives, or other soluble carbon species to hydrocarbon fuels or chemical coproducts. Opportunities for hybrid pathways exist.

FCIC researchers will integrate this model with INL’s discrete-event simulation model to determine downstream impacts of feedstock variability on conversion performance and minimum fuel selling price.