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Economic assessment of supercritical CO2 extraction of waxes as part of a maize stover biorefinery

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Publication details

JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
DatePublished - 31 Jul 2015
Issue number8
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)17546-17564
Original languageEnglish


To date limited work has focused on assessing the economic viability of scCO<inf>2</inf> extraction to obtain waxes as part of a biorefinery. This work estimates the economic costs for wax extraction from maize stover. The cost of manufacture (COM) for maize stover wax extraction was found to be €88.89 per kg of wax, with the fixed capital investment (FCI) and utility costs (CUT) contributing significantly to the COM. However, this value is based solely on scCO<inf>2</inf> extraction of waxes and does not take into account the downstream processing of the biomass following extraction. The cost of extracting wax from maize stover can be reduced by utilizing pelletized leaves and combusting the residual biomass to generate electricity. This would lead to an overall cost of €10.87 per kg of wax (based on 27% combustion efficiency for electricity generation) and €4.56 per kg of wax (based on 43% combustion efficiency for electricity generation). A sensitivity analysis study showed that utility costs (cost of electricity) had the greatest effect on the COM.

    Research areas

  • Biorefinery, Cost of manufacture (COM), Extraction, Fixed capital investment (FCI), Maize stover, Supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO<inf>2</inf>), Wax

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