Techno-economic analysis of lignocellulosic ethanol: A review
Lignocellulosic ethanol is expected to be commercialised during the next decade as renewable energy for transport. Competiveness with first generation bioethanol and with gasoline is commonly considered in techno-economic analyses for commercial stage. Several existing reviews conclude about the high spread of current and projected production costs of lignocellulosic ethanol due to the significant differences in assumptions concerning the following factors: composition and cost of feedstock, process design, conversion efficiency, valorisation of co-products, and energy conservation. Focusing on the studies in the United States of America and in Europe, the present review investigates the different natures of the techno-economic evaluations during the development process of the supply chain i.e., standard costing with respect to Value Engineering, and Target Costing based on the projected market price. The paper highlights the significant contribution of feedstock to the lignocellulosic ethanol production cost and the need to consider competition between different uses for resources. It is recommended the use of a value-based approach that considers sustainability characteristics and potential competition for resources complementarily to Target Costing and Value Engineering.