A Technoeconomic Model Coupled with HYSYS to Analyze the Electroreduction of Carbon Dioxide to Ethanol

Isabelle Pickett, Trang Vo, Ho Yan Wu, Antonio José Expósito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research develops a technoeconomic analysis to study the profitability of ethanol production from CO2 electroreduction. A HYSYS simulation is used to calculate the separation costs, a challenge in previous models available in literature. The profitability of a 10 000 kg per day CO2 electroreduction plant to produce ethanol is studied. An optimization of the pressure swing adsorber and distillation tower, which greatly influence the total cost of the plant (≈20% of total cost), is carried out, obtaining a total cost of separation of £1.94 (Formula presented.) 106. The study demonstrates that reducing the voltage applied to values around 0.5 V, i.e., by increasing the pH up to 12 makes the process economically feasible with a current density over 15 mA cm−2. It also shows that the process is economically feasible using a current density of 5 mA cm−2 if the electricity cost from renewable sources drops to 2.0 (Formula presented.) 10−2 £ kWh−1. Finally, it is proved that if catalyst stability is not considered, some catalysts currently available in the literature can be used with a positive economic income. The results of this research show that the industrial electroreduction of ethanol can be feasible and can attract interest in the industrial adoption of the technology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2200782
Number of pages11
JournalAdvanced Theory and Simulations
Issue number4
Early online date12 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note


Data Availability Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request


  • CO electroreduction
  • ethanol
  • separation costs
  • technoeconomic models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • General


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