Biomass conversion to mixed alcohol fuels using the MixAlco Process Academic Article uri icon


  • The MixAlco Process converts biomass into mixed alcohol fuels. The biomass is first treated with lime to render it more digestible. Then, it is fed to a mixed culture of acid-forming microorganisms that produce salts of volatile fatty acids, such as calcium acetate, propionate, and butyrate. These salts are separated from the fermentation broth and thermally converted to ketones that are subsequently hydrogenated to alcohols, such as 2-propanol, 2-butanol, 2-pentanol, and 3-pentanol. Design data are presented related to the lime treatment, fermentation, thermal conversion, and hydrogenation. A preliminary economic evaluation indicates that alcohol fuels can be produced from negative-value biomass, such as municipal solid waste and sewage sludge, for about $0.19/L ($0.72/gal).

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Holtzapple, M. T., Ross, M. K., Chang, N. S., Chang, V. S., Adelson, S. K., & Brazel, C.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Holtzapple, MT||Ross, MK||Chang, NS||Chang, VS||Adelson, SK||Brazel, C

publication date

  • May 1997