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Mathematical programming in the exploitation of sugarcane harvest residual biomass


Brazil is the world’s largest producer of sugarcane. This crop is produced mainly to obtain sugar and alcohol. In the period 2005/2006 the country achieved production of approximately 436.8 million tons of sugarcane, providing a 28.9 per cent increase in the sugar/alcohol sector compared with the previous harvest. Despite this, a current concern of the sector is the waste generated in the harvesting of the cane, since one of the common practices is the pre harvest burning of the straw, something which has caused considerable environmental damage. This practice has been condemned by environmental and government agencies, and today there are laws which lay out deadlines for the gradual reduction of the burnings in the cane fields. Yet, without the burnings and with a greater build-up of straw on the ground, favorable conditions are created for the appearance of pests and also the delay in the sprouting of the cane, thus compromising the next harvest. With these problems, the straw derived from the green cane, has become a focus for researchers and producers. The advantages in gathering it up, recovering it and making use of it have mobilized university researchers, managers and directors of sugar factories, who are interested in finding the most productive, economic and efficient way for this operation. A fairly promising alternative is the exploitation of the straw in the generation of electricity. Since, in addition to the energy potential of this biomass, there are advantages relating to environmental questions, the preservation of jobs, and the projection of limited life for energy resources of natural origin, and others. Given the huge importance of this subject, the Botucatu Nucleus of the Systems Modeling and Optimization Group IB/UNESP, proposes the study of the techniques of mathematical optimization and modeling in order to help with the problems involved in the exploitation of waste biomass from the sugarcane harvest. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
RODRIGO SARTORELO SALEMI VIANA; HELENICE DE OLIVEIRA FLORENTINO; ERNESTO AUGUSTO BUENO DA FONSECA LIMA; PAULO ROBERTO DA FONSECA; THIAGO PEDRO DONADON HOMEM. Heterogeneity correction in the construction of optimized planning in radiotherapy using linear programming. Pesquisa Operacional, v. 31, n. 3, p. -, Dez. 2011.
FLORENTINO, HELENICE DE OLIVEIRA; MORENO, EDMUNDO VERGARA; PEREIRA SARTORI, MARIA MARCIA. Multiobjective optimization of economic balances of sugarcane harvest biomass. Scientia Agricola, v. 65, n. 5, p. 561-564, 2008. Web of Science Citations: 3.
GILMAR TOLENTINO; HELENICE DE OLIVEIRA FLORENTINO; MARIA MÁRCIA PEREIRA SARTORI. Modelagem matemática para o aproveitamento da biomassa residual de colheita da cana-de-açúcar com menor custo. Bragantia, v. 66, n. 4, p. 729-735, 2007.

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