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Plant size: Capital cost relationships in the dry mill ethanol industry
Biomass and Bioenergy
  • Paul W. Gallagher, Iowa State University
  • Heather Brubaker, Iowa State University
  • Hosein Shapouri, United States Department of Agriculture
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Estimates suggest that capital costs typically increase less than proportionately with plant capacity in the dry mill ethanol industry because the estimated power factor is 0.836. However, capital costs increase more rapidly for ethanol than for a typical processing enterprise, judging by the average 0.6 factor rule. Some estimates also suggest a phase of decreasing unit costs followed by a phase of increasing costs. Nonetheless dry mills could be somewhat larger than the current industry standard, unless other scarce factors limit capacity expansion. Despite the statistical significance of an average cost-size relationship, average capital cost for plant of a given size at a particular location is still highly variable due to costs associated with unique circumstances, possibly water availability, utility access and environmental compliance.

This article is from Biomass and Bioenergy 28 (2005): 565, doi: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2005.01.001.

Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
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Paul W. Gallagher, Heather Brubaker and Hosein Shapouri. "Plant size: Capital cost relationships in the dry mill ethanol industry" Biomass and Bioenergy Vol. 28 Iss. 6 (2005) p. 565 - 571
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