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Expanding the Role of Systems Modeling: Considering Byproduct Generation from Biofuel Production

Kurt A Rosentrater, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service

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Abstract

The bioethanol industry has been experiencing rapid growth over the past several years, and is expected to continue to increase production for the foreseeable future. A vital component to the success of this industry is the sales and marketing of processing residues, which are primarily sold as dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS). Systems modeling, a technique that has been used to predict future demand for bioethanol, can also be used to determine potential byproduct generation rates. This paper discusses the development of one such model, and presents predicted generation of DDGS as well as carbon dioxide emissions from this industry through 2100. These simulation results underscore the growing need to actively pursue research focused on value-added alternatives for the use of bioethanol byproduct streams.

Key words

bioethanol; biofuels; byproducts; carbon dioxide emissions; distillers grains; dynamic systems modeling; policy analysis; residue generation
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087