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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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Title: Conversion economics of forest biomaterials: risk and financial analysis of CNC manufacturing

Source: Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. 11(4): 682-700.

Author(s)de Assis, Camilla Abbati; Houtman, Carl; Phillips, Richard; Bilek, E.M. Ted; Rojas, Orlando J.; Pal, Lokendra; Peresin, Maria Soledad; Jameel, Hasan; Gonzalez, Ronalds

Publication Year: 2017  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4709-2B   FPL-4851-6B

Abstract: Commercialization of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) presents opportunities for a wide range of new products. Techno-economic assessments can provide insightful information for the effi cient design of conversion processes, drive cost-saving efforts, and reduce fi nancial risks. In this study, we conducted techno-economic assessments for CNC production using information from the USDA Forest Products Laboratory Pilot Plant, literature, and discussions with experts. Scenarios considered included variations related to greenfi eld, co-location, and acid recovery. Operating costs, capital investment, minimum product selling price (MPSP), fi nancial performance metrics, and the effect of drying and higher reaction yields on CNC manufacturing fi nancials were estimated for each scenario. The lowest MPSP was found for the co-location without acid recovery scenario, mainly driven by capital investment. Risk analysis indicates 95% probability of manufacturing costs lower than USD 5900/t of CNC (dry equivalent) and a MPSP lower than USD 7200/t of CNC (dry equivalent). Finally, based on our analysis, we provide guidance on process optimizations that can improve the economic performance of CNC manufacturing process. In addition, a risk profi le of the CNC manufacturing business is provided.

Keywords: Cellulose nanocrystals; risk analysis; techno-economic analysis; CNC; conversion economics

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 1,024 kb(s)

Date posted: 10/06/2017

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 88583
Current FPL Scientists associated with this product (listed alphabetically)
Bilek, Ted
Houtman, Carl J.
Chemical Engineer

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- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »

Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »

Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »

Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »