Techno-Economic and Life Cycle Analysis of Bioethanol Production

Ana Belén Guerrero, Edmundo Muñoz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Nowadays, there is a wide variety of pathways to transform biomass into biofuels. There are economically viable pathways that have been escalated to an industrial level and others still at the pilot and/or research and development scale. As well, considering a life cycle perspective for the environmental analysis, there are pros and cons that should be considered regarding the bioethanol environmental performance, since it has been considered that the use of bioethanol could help to reduce fossil fuels depletion and greenhouse gas emissions. In this chapter, some insights about techno-economic and environmental analyses of different bioethanol production methods developed in the last five years are determined. The techno-economic analysis details the potential economic viability of a selected technology at the research and development stage. The analysis considers the maturity level of the technologies available today: first, second, and third-generation bioethanol. Regarding the environmental performance of bioethanol from a life cycle perspective, it is clear that no biofuel is “climate neutral” because of the inputs of fossil fuels needed, in the agricultural and industrial processes, before the use stage. Given this background, a life cycle approach in a bioethanol environmental analysis facilitates an environmental profile containing all inputs and outputs that entailed in the bioethanol system, from the extraction of raw materials to the use of bioethanol in the engine of a vehicle. Life cycle assessment results allow informed decision-making and avoiding shifting environmental impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGreen Energy and Technology
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameGreen Energy and Technology
VolumePart F1314
ISSN (Print)1865-3529
ISSN (Electronic)1865-3537


  • Biofuels
  • Costs
  • Environment
  • Ethanol
  • Policies
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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