Conditions that influence the economic viability of ethanol from corn stover in the Midwest of the USA

Daniel G. De La Torre Ugarte, Burton C. English, R. Jamey Menard, Marie Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a journalpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Biomass feedstocks, such as corn fiber, corn stover, bagasse, and rice straw contain cellulose, which can be converted into ethanol. The supply and sustainability of cellulosic feedstock will depend on the agricultural production methods employed. Given the low density of biomass feedstocks, facilities need to be located near where the production of feedstocks occurs. The objectives of this research are to provide a methodology and estimates of the potential number of ethanol plants that can be established in the ten major corn producing states of the United States. Three major models were incorporated into the analysis to account for feedstock availability, plant size performance and plant location. The study showed that the number of feasible ethanol plants in each state could vary substantially based on the prices of ethanol and corn stover and plant size. The smaller plant size is much more sensitive to the prices of ethanol than is the larger plant. When considering ethanol at $1.35/gallon for a 2,000 MT/day plant, an estimated 72 plants would be constructed, but if the feedstock farm gate price increases by 30%, the number of plants declines to 68.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-156
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Sugar Journal
Issue number1287
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Conditions that influence the economic viability of ethanol from corn stover in the Midwest of the USA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this