University of Oulu

Kuittinen, S., Hietaharju, J., Bhattarai, I., Hassan, Md. K., Kupiainen, L., Kangas, J., Tanskanen, J., & Pappinen, A. (2022). Technoeconomic analysis and environmental sustainability estimation of bioalcohol production from barley straw. Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology, 43, 102427.

Technoeconomic analysis and environmental sustainability estimation of bioalcohol production from barley straw

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Author: Kuittinen, Suvi1; Hietaharju, Jenna2; Bhattarai, Ira1;
Organizations: 1School of Forest Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Faculty of Science and Forestry, P.O. Box 111, FI80101, Joensuu, Finland
2Chemical Process Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-12-21


European Union bioeconomy policy emphasizes that the production of renewable transportation fuels should replace fossil fuels as much as possible. In particular, the utilization of waste or side-stream lignocellulosic materials for fuel production is highly recommended. Moreover, future crises forcing a reliance on locally available sources for fuels and energy may become increasingly common. Barley straw, a common agricultural residue in northern Europe, is a potential raw material for bioalcohol production via fermentation. In this study, the technoeconomic and environmental sustainability of bioethanol and biobutanol production from barley straw were evaluated. When compared with fossil gasoline production and use, the greenhouse gas emissions reduction 77.6% and 72.1% were achieved for ethanol and butanol production, respectively. Thus, the emission reduction of 65% for biofuels demanded by the European Union renewable energy directive was achieved in both biofuel production processes evaluated. However, our results indicated that ethanol production from barley straw, a well-known and mature technology, was an economically feasible process (NPV positive, IRR 20%) but that butanol production with Clostridium species through acetone-butanol-ethanol fermentation has still technoeconomic challenges to overcome (NPV negative, IRR below 10%). This was mainly due to the low yield and high recovery costs of butanol.

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Series: Biocatalysis and agricultural biotechnology
ISSN: 1878-8181
ISSN-E: 1878-8181
ISSN-L: 1878-8181
Volume: 43
Article number: 102427
DOI: 10.1016/j.bcab.2022.102427
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 215 Chemical engineering
Funding: The research was carried out with financial support obtained from the Academy of Finland, which supported the projects “Sustainable Production concepts on integrated Biorefining systems (SusBioRef)” and “Development of efficient biomass conversion routes for biofuel production and utilization (CONVER-B)”. Financial support was also obtained from the Karelia CBC programme project “Reaching congenial region through valorization of municipal and industrial waste waters and sludge” (Waste Recycling, KA4020), which is financed by European Union, Russian Federation and Republic of Finland. The work was also supported by personal grant from the Academy of Finland.
Dataset Reference: Supplementary data to this article can be found online at
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (