Techno-economic implications of fed-batch enzymatic hydrolysis

Ellen Argo, Deepak R. Keshwani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Fed-batch enzymatic hydrolysis has the potential to improve the overall process of converting cellulosic biomass into ethanol. This paper utilizes a process simulation approach to identify and quantify techno-economic differences between batch and fed-batch enzymatic hydrolysis in cellulosic ethanol production. The entire process of converting corn stover into ethanol was simulated using SuperPro Designer simulation software. The analysis was conducted for a plant capacity of 2000 metric tons of dry biomass per day. A literature review was used to identify baseline parameters for the process. The sensitivity of the ethanol production cost to changes in sugar conversion efficiency, plant capacity, biomass cost, power cost, labor cost, and enzyme cost was evaluated using the process simulation. For the base scenario, the ethanol unit production cost was approximately $0.10/gallon lower for fed-batch hydrolysis. The greatest differences were seen in facilities costs, labor costs, and capital costs. Using a fed-batch operation decreased facilities costs by 41%, labor costs by 21%, and capital costs by 15%. The sensitivity analysis found that cost of biomass had the greatest effect on ethanol production cost, and in general, the results support the proposition that fed-batch enzymatic hydrolysis does improve the techno-economics of cellulosic ethanol production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number847
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Cellulosic ethanol
  • Fed-batch hydrolysis
  • Process simulation
  • Techno-economic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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