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Abstract

Several technology options are available that can help improve the sustainability of ethanol production from corn. Dry‐grind ethanol process coproducts and other nearby biomass resources can be used to produce process heat and electricity at ethanol plants. These biomass fuels can reduce process energy costs, provide a consistent source of renewable electricity for the local utility, and increase the renewable energy balance for fuel ethanol production. An Aspen Plus model of the dry‐grind ethanol process is used as a basis for the integration of biomass‐fueled combined heat and power systems. Several combinations of combustion and gasification systems, power production cycles, biomass fuel combinations, and air emission control technologies are evaluated. Suitable configurations for incorporating biomass to produce heat and power at typical 190 million‐L (50 million‐gal) per year dry‐grind ethanol facilities are analyzed.

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