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A Review of Life Cycle of Ethanol Produced from Biosyngas

Poritosh Roy / Animesh Dutta
Published Online: 2013-07-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/bioeth-2013-0001


This review compiled the life cycle (LC) studies on ethanol produced via gasification of biomass centering on greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and production cost to discuss their potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts. Numerous efforts have been made to evaluate the LC of ethanol produced with biosynthesis (gasification-microbial fermentation) and chemical synthesis (gasification-catalytic synthesis) of syngas produced from biomass (hereafter referred to biosyngas), and deals with system boundary, feedstock, energy paths and utilization of by-products to determine the environmental impacts as well as the production cost. It seems that most of the LC studies were conducted based on different research targets. Most of the reviewed studies support the environmental and economic viability of ethanol except for a few examples. A wide variation was observed in the reported GHG emission and production cost of ethanol which are dependent on the system boundary and assumptions, feedstock, conversion technologies and plant sizes. Consequently, in-depth studies are needed for each stage of the LC of ethanol from biosyngas for any future investment, commercial production, and sustainability. Moreover, a careful consideration has to be placed on the land use change and soil quality and their rebound effects if lignocellulosic biomass is to be put to use in the ethanol industry

Keywords: Biomass; biosyngas; ethanol; life cycle (LC); GHG emissions; production cost; LCA


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About the article

Received: 2013-05-09

Accepted: 2013-06-29

Published Online: 2013-07-29

Citation Information: Bioethanol, Volume 1, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2299-6788, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/bioeth-2013-0001.

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