An engineering economic model, which is mass balanced and compositionally driven, was developed to compare the conventional corn dry-grind process and the pre-fractionation process called quick germ-quick fiber (QQ). In this model, documented in a companion article, the distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) price was linked with its protein and fiber content as well as with the long-term average relationship with the corn price. The detailed economic analysis showed that the QQ plant retrofitted from conventional dry-grind ethanol plant reduces the manufacturing cost of ethanol by 13.5 ¢/gallon and has net present value of nearly $4 million greater than the conventional dry-grind plant at an interest rate of 4% in 15 years. Ethanol and feedstock price sensitivity analysis showed that the QQ plant gains more profits when ethanol price increases than conventional dry-grind ethanol plant. An optimistic analysis of the QQ process suggests that the greater value of the modified DDGS would provide greater resistance to fluctuations in corn price for QQ facilities. This model can be used to provide decision support for ethanol producers.
- Dry-grind process
- Engineering economic model
- Quick germ-quick fiber process
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Waste Management and Disposal