Title: What is still limiting the deployment of cellulosic ethanol? Analysis of the current status of the sector
Authors: PADELLA MONICAO' CONNELL ADRIAN PARKERPRUSSI MATTEO
Citation: APPLIED SCIENCES-BASEL vol. 9 no. 21 p. 4523
Publisher: MDPI
Publication Year: 2019
JRC N°: JRC117955
ISSN: 2076-3417 (online)
URI: https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC117955
DOI: 10.3390/app9214523
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Ethanol production from cellulosic material is considered one of the most promising options for future biofuel production contributing to both the energy diversification and decarbonization of the transport sector, especially where electricity is not a viable option (e.g., aviation). Compared to conventional (or first generation) ethanol production from food and feed crops (mainly sugar and starch based crops), cellulosic (or second generation) ethanol provides better performance in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings and low risk of direct and indirect land-use change. However, despite the policy support (in terms of targets) and significant R&D funding in the last decade (both in EU and outside the EU), cellulosic ethanol production appears to be still limited. The paper provides a comprehensive overview of the status of cellulosic ethanol production in EU and outside EU, reviewing available literature and highlighting technical and non-technical barriers that still limit its production at commercial scale. The review shows that the cellulosic ethanol sector appears to be still stagnating, characterized by technical difficulties as well as high production costs. Competitiveness issues, against standard starch based ethanol, are evident considering many commercial scale cellulosic ethanol plants appear to be currently in idle or on-hold states.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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