Process integration study of a kraft pulp mill converted to an ethanol production plant - part B: Techno-economic analysis
Journal article, 2012
In a previous study by the authors, energy efficiency measures in a conceptual kraft pulp mill converted to a lignocellulosic ethanol plant were investigated. The results suggested a number of different process designs which would give a substantial improvement in steam economy in the ethanol plant, compared to the original design. In the present study the different process designs are evaluated from an economic point-of-view, in order to determine if energy efficiency measures and increasing by-product sales decrease the production cost of ethanol from this specific process, or if the increased costs related to the implementation of these measures overshadow the benefits from increased by-product sales. The different energy efficiency measures are compared with less capital demanding alternatives (i.e. including low or no energy efficiency improvements) in order to assess the economic benefits of different strategies when converting a !craft pulp mill to ethanol production. The study indicates the economic importance of considering energy efficiency measures when repurposing a kraft pulp mill to an ethanol plant. It is also shown that, within the context of this study, a larger investment in measures will give better economic results than less capital demanding alternatives (with less improvement in energy efficiency). From an economic and energy efficiency viewpoint many of the suggested process designs will give approximately similar results, therefore the process design should be made based on other criteria (e.g. low complexity, low maintenance).
Lignocellulosic ethanol production
Kraft pulp mill