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    Author(s): Camilla Abbati de Assis; Carl Houtman; Richard Phillips; E.M. Ted Bilek; Orlando J. Rojas; Lokendra Pal; Maria Soledad Peresin; Hasan Jameel; Ronalds Gonzalez
    Date: 2017
    Source: Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. 11(4): 682-700.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)

    Related Research Highlights

    Enabling cellulose nanomaterial commercialization


    Commercialization of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) presents opportunities for a wide range of new products. Techno-economic assessments can provide insightful information for the effi cient design of conversion processes, drive cost-saving efforts, and reduce fi nancial risks. In this study, we conducted techno-economic assessments for CNC production using information from the USDA Forest Products Laboratory Pilot Plant, literature, and discussions with experts. Scenarios considered included variations related to greenfi eld, co-location, and acid recovery. Operating costs, capital investment, minimum product selling price (MPSP), fi nancial performance metrics, and the effect of drying and higher reaction yields on CNC manufacturing fi nancials were estimated for each scenario. The lowest MPSP was found for the co-location without acid recovery scenario, mainly driven by capital investment. Risk analysis indicates 95% probability of manufacturing costs lower than USD 5900/t of CNC (dry equivalent) and a MPSP lower than USD 7200/t of CNC (dry equivalent). Finally, based on our analysis, we provide guidance on process optimizations that can improve the economic performance of CNC manufacturing process. In addition, a risk profi le of the CNC manufacturing business is provided.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    de Assis, Camilla Abbati; Houtman, Carl; Phillips, Richard; Bilek, E.M. Ted; Rojas, Orlando J.; Pal, Lokendra; Peresin, Maria Soledad; Jameel, Hasan; Gonzalez, Ronalds. 2017. Conversion economics of forest biomaterials: risk and financial analysis of CNC manufacturing. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. 11(4): 682-700.


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    Cellulose nanocrystals, risk analysis, techno-economic analysis, CNC, conversion economics

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