Cellulosic ethanol is a biofuel produced from the fibrous cellulose and hemicellulose fractions of herbaceous (switchgrass, corn stover, miscanthus) or woody biomass, as opposed to a plant’s seeds or fruit, and the cellulosic ethanol expert deals with these feedstocks that are mostly inedible, eliminating the “food v. fuel” arguments that sometime surround standard biofuels. Almost all routes to cellulosic ethanol involve biomass collection and delivery, followed by deconstruction of the cellulose to sugar by high-severity chemical & mechanical pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, fermentation and distillation. Due to a low cost of feedstock and government incentives, there is great interest in cellulosic ethanol and its potential for strong economic return. Cellulosic ethanol experts and consultants may come from various backgrounds including agriculture, biology, chemistry, process engineering, metallurgy, pulp and paper, or wastewater treatment.
Cellulosic ethanol experts/consultants may assist developers with DOE grant or funding opportunity applications, plant design, equipment selection construction, or retrofitting. They may assist in investors’ due diligence activities when investigating a developer’s claims, including independent engineering review or heat & material balance review. They may assist cellulosic ethanol plant operators to make the plant run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. They may assist obligated parties under RFS2 in buying quality cellulosic ethanol or Renewable Identification Numbers (RINS). In matters involving cellulosic ethanol related litigation, the consultant may serve as an expert witness to help attorneys understand the issues.
Large renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms will certainly have experts in more common areas like biofuels, biomaterials, biomass, biomass power, bio-based chemicals, biotechnologies and renewable fuels and chemicals in general. Energy consultants should be willing to discuss client’s initial questions about renewable energy sources, the types of biofuels, biofuel companies, synthetic biology, the fermentation process, biomass renewable energy, biofuel energy, conversion technologies for things like tires and railroad ties, and about the circular economy in general. These clean energy experts would optimally be part of a larger, multidisciplinary group of green energy consultants with a wide variety of expertise in more specialized areas like biomass production, financial due diligence, organic synthesis, fuel additives, ethanol gas, biodiesel fuel including algae biofuels, solid state and industrial fermentation, green energy grants, ag biotech, agricultural waste, alcohol fuels, alternative proteins and animal-free products, sustainable foods, beverage fermentation, , biocatalysis, biodiesel conversion, biogas production, biomass power, carbon intensity, co2 utilization, combined heat & power, Fischer-Tropsch technology, food waste, hydrothermal carbonization, industrial enzymes, landfill management, microbial fermentation, organic synthesis, plastic pyrolysis, plastic recycling, plastic waste, pyrolysis oil, reactor design, renewable identification number, the Renewable Fuel Standard (rfs2), solid recovered fuels, torrefaction and torrefied biomass, waste to energy, and waste-to-hydrogen. Finally, members and strategic partners of these green energy consulting firms should also have the availability to do things like engineering, technical feasibility studies and techno-economic analysis, due diligence, and feasibility studies, and provide expert witness testimony, and should have the contacts to assist with renewable energy finance, accounting, plant safety and insurance, legal, and virtually any other services related to the bioeconomy.
Lee Enterprises Consulting is the world’s premier bioeconomy consulting group, with over 100 highly qualified experts serving in all these areas. Take a look at our experts and the services we provide. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. For the larger projects, we specialize in putting together full service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information. See also “Cellulosic Ethanol, Pat, Present & Future“.