Carnegie Mellon University Chemical Engineers in cooperation with Cargill ave
created a new process that can improve the efficiency of ethanol production. By
using advanced process design methods combined with mathematical optimization
techniques, the process can reduce the costs for producing ethanol by
The key to the new strategy involves redesigning the distillation process by
using a multi-column system together with a network for energy recovery that
ultimately reduces the consumption of steam, a major energy component in the
production of corn-based ethanol.
"This new design reduces the manufacturing cost for
producing ethanol by 11%, from $1.61 a gallon to $1.43 a gallon,'' said Chemical
Engineering Professor Ignacio E. Grossmann.
Potential for cost saving
The work done at Carnegie
Mellon demonstrated the potential for considerable capital and energy cost
savings in the corn to ethanol process. "We look forward to the time when the
tools developed by Carnegie Mellon researchers will become part of industry's
new toolkit for making the process even more economical and sustainable," said
Luca C. Zullo, technical director of Cargill Emissions Reduction Services. -
Carnegie Mellon University.
University Chemical Engineers
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