Cellulosic ethanol and hybrid processes
Cellulosic ethanol
Current bioethanol development is focused on using cheaper feedstocks (wheat or barley straw, grasses, sugarcane bagasse and wood products) that do not compete with food production. Pilot and demonstration plants are being used to develop and showcase the technology. It is expected that future industrial plants will use this technology. The distillation equipment is likely to be similar to current bioethanol plants; however, depending on the nature of the feedstock, it is possible that the trays in the beer stripper column may be more susceptible to fouling in these processes.

Hybrid Processes
Other processes are being developed to produce ethanol by gasification of biomass followed by conversion to synthesis gas and then to alcohols by the same processes as outlined under synthetic ethanol in the previous sections. Distillation equipment is likely to be similar to distillation equipment in synthetic ethanol plants.

Additional information

Bioethanol