Biomass Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle for heat and power at ethanol plants

Matthew J. De Kam, R. Vance Morey, Douglas G. Tiffany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Biomass Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (BIGCC) technology can be used to generate process heat and significant amounts of electricity at dry-grind ethanol facilities by utilizing the ethanol process co-products and other biomass sources. These systems can reduce fuel costs for ethanol plants, improve the renewable energy balance of dry-grind ethanol production, and provide reliable renewable electricity for process use and for sale to the local utility. An Aspen Plus model of the dry-grind ethanol process is used as the basis for a subsequent gasification system model. A twin fluidized bed steam gasification configuration based on the SilvaGas process is used to generate synthesis gas. The results show that a dry-grind ethanol facility with a capacity of 190 million liters per year could produce 30.4 MWe of power while supplying all its process heat needs using ethanol co-products and corn cobs. This configuration results in a three fold improvement in the amount of renewable energy produced per unit of fossil energy used compared to a conventional ethanol production process using natural gas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1682-1690
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009


  • Biomass
  • Combined cycle
  • Combined heat and power
  • Combustion
  • Ethanol production
  • Gasification
  • Model
  • Renewable
  • Sustainable

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Biomass Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle for heat and power at ethanol plants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this