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Evaluation of the economic potential of the sugarcane filter cake and their byproducts

Grant number: 17/02109-0
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: September 01, 2018 - May 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Analytical Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Mary Rosa Rodrigues de Marchi
Grantee:Mary Rosa Rodrigues de Marchi
Host Company:Green Wax - Research and Innovation on Sugarcane by Products Ltda
CNAE: Fabricação de intermediários para plastificantes, resinas e fibras
Fabricação de produtos químicos orgânicos não especificados anteriormente
Fabricação de produtos diversos não especificados anteriormente
City: Araraquara
Pesquisadores principais:
Alexander Alves da Silva
Associated researchers:Arnaldo Sarti ; Elton Eustaquio Casagrande
Associated scholarship(s):18/20709-8 - Wax extraction from sugarcane filter cake, using water as extraction solvente: an exploratory optimization study, BP.TT
18/20680-0 - Evaluation of the economic potential of the sugarcane filter cake and their by-products, BP.PIPE


Brazil is the largest producer in the world of sugarcane and occupies the leadership in technology for production of ethanol and sugar. A large amount of sugarcane waste is generated from sugar-alcohol industry, including bagasse, straw, filter cake and vinasse. These post-harvest sugarcane residues can leading a serious environmental problem by contamination of soil, surface and groundwater pollution. Likewise, it can be avoid by reuse of sugarcane waste generating others agribusiness or others industrial fields, as key to reducing or eliminating the environmental impacts from its improper disposal. In this context, these residues can be used as raw material to obtain new agro-industrial high-value products that corroborates with improvement of profits and competitiveness, lower cost industrial production, and mainly, a reduction of the negative environmental impacts during its entire life cycle - from extraction of raw materials to subsequent final disposal. The filter cake presents high concentration of organic matter and nutrients, and can be used in the production of fertilizers, biogas, wax, resin and animal feed. Filter cake is a rich source of organic matter and nutrients that can be used for production of fertilizers, biogas, waxes, resins, and animal feeds. Its application as a fertilizer/soil improver directly applied on the fields or after composting can provides benefits such as increased cation exchange capacity of the soil, and consequently, the water retention capacity, physical, chemical and microbiological soil conditions of the plant cultures. In spite of these achievements, the inappropriate applications can lead to groundwater and soil contamination, due to the increase of macro and micronutrients, heavy metals, wax, as well as total biochemical demand of oxygen. In this way, reuse of the filter cake reduces the amount of waste and its incorrect application, minimizing the risk of environmental pollution while promoting an opportunity to sustainable development and innovative products. In this scenario, the filter cake can be used to obtain the waxes - a product of high added value - as an alternative source to carnaúba wax, candelilla wax, bee wax and synthetic waxes, and consequently, a high diversity of applications in the textile, food, chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, paper and packaging, paints, polishing, modeling, and among others. The sugarcane industry represents an important segment of the Brazilian economy. In this sense, the waste reuse continuously improve the socio-environmental sustainability of the sugarcane supply chain. Therefore, the goal of this proposal is a sugarcane waste management applied to new extraction methods with highly efficient process and low production costs that promote high added value, as well as supports the emergence of innovative businesses throughout the sugarcane productive chain, along with that the alternative outputs for reducing environmental impacts related to this sector, will contribute to solid waste management in Brazil. (AU)

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