Cellulosic ethanol is one type of renewable energy, and can be used to replace petroleum based transportation fuels. The technologies of converting cellulosic biomass into ethanol are relatively mature. However, the manufacturing costs of cellulosic ethanol are too high to be competitive. Economic analyses of cellulosic ethanol manufacturing have appeared regularly to estimate manufacturing costs of cellulosic ethanol. But the estimated manufacturing costs of cellulosic ethanol have a wide range due to differences in used assumptions. It is very difficult to judge which one is most reliable among the markedly different cost estimates in the literature. This paper reviews the literature on cost estimates in manufacturing of cellulosic ethanol. Cost estimates of each manufacturing process are summarized. Cost components and their data sources are discussed. This review provides a foundation to develop a comprehensive cost model for cellulosic ethanol manufacturing.

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