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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

William D. Adamson


An evaluation of economic feasibility of converting the cellulosic component of municipal solid waste (CMSW) into ethanol fuel based on an enzymatic conversion process. Waste paper is utilized as the feedstock in the conversion process. Urban and rural plants with full stream and source separation of the CMSW feedstock are examined. A theoretical yield of 70 gallons per ton and the current South Dakota State University (SDSU) research yield of 14.75 gallons per ton are considered in the economic analysis of both urban and rural plants. Urban and rural landfills cost savings (social economic benefits) are observed when the CMSW is diverted into the ethanol conversion process. Landfill cost savings from the ~MSW process are used to estimate potential government subsidies. The results find that further ethanol research where CMSW is utilized in a much more efficient way needs to be studied.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Refuse and refuse disposal -- Economic aspects
Waste paper
Alcohol as fuel




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