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Integrated sustainability assessment of bioethanol production from sugarcane in Brazil

Grant number: 11/51710-2
Support type:Program for Research on Bioenergy (BIOEN) - Regular Program Grants
Duration: November 01, 2012 - March 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Cooperation agreement: BE-BASIC Consortium
Principal researcher:Arnaldo Cesar da Silva Walter
Grantee:Arnaldo Cesar da Silva Walter
Principal researcher abroad: Andre Faaij
Institution abroad: Utrecht University (UU), Netherlands
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Mecânica (FEM). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The effective sustainability of biomass use as energy and materials is an essential aspect for their consolidation in the international and even in local markets. Indeed, it seems obvious that the large-scale production of biomass can only be justified if their economic and environmental impacts were favorable, and if there were real benefits for all social segments directly involved. The aim of this project is improving the methodologies and the assessment regarding some of the most important aspects concerned to the sustainability of sugarcane agroindustry, with a special emphasis on getting information for developing an integrated assessment. The methodologies will be applied to three case studies regarding sugarcane ethanol production in Brazil, considering three previously selected regions with contrasting sustainability issues. Two of the selected regions are in the state of São Paulo, due to its importance as sugarcane producer. The third case study was defined in the Centre-West region (Goiás state), since most the expansion of sugarcane production should occur there, but also because many impacts could occur, for instance in water resources, biodiversity, etc. The sustainability impact assessments in the three selected areas will be done comparing the current situation (year 2010) with scenarios in a time horizon of 10 years: two different future scenarios taking into account the expansion of sugarcane agroindustry activities in the Pontal do Paranapanema and Quirinópolis regions - one is related to a "business as usual" expansion, and the other to an alternative expansion (e.g., integration of sugarcane and livestock) - and a future scenario replacing sugarcane agroindustry by the Eucalyptus, pulp and paper activity in the Piracicaba region. Taking into account the three dimensions of sustainability - environmental, social and economic - and considering different aspects, the assessment to be performed in this project has its starting point on the drivers of land use change. In the context of the predicting land use changes the following potential impacts will be analysed: a) on GHG emissions regarding ethanol production from sugarcane, b) impacts on water resources and on soil, c) impacts on biodiversity, and d) socioeconomic impacts. Ali data gathered will be geo-referenced aiming at identify different cause-effect ratios and, consequently, at improve the assessment and the quality of results. (AU)

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Scientific publications (4)
(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)
DE OLIVEIRA CERVONE, CAMILA ORTOLAN FERNANDES; WALTER, ARNALDO; GUARENGHI, MARJORIE MENDES; FAVERO, CAMILA. Resident perceptions of the impacts of large-scale sugarcane production on ecosystem services in two regions of Brazil. BIOMASS & BIOENERGY, v. 114, p. 63-72, . (11/51710-2)
DOURADO HERNANDES, THAYSE APARECIDA; SCARPARE, FABIO VALE; ABEL SEABRA, JOAQUIM EUGENIO. Assessment of the recent land use change dynamics related to sugarcane expansion and the associated effects on water resources availability. JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION, v. 197, n. 1, p. 1328-1341, . (11/51710-2)
DOURADO HERNANDES, THAYSE APARECIDA; SCARPARE, FABIO VALE; ABEL SEABRA, JOAQUIM EUGENIO. Assessment of impacts on basin stream flow derived from medium-term sugarcane expansion scenarios in Brazil. AGRICULTURE ECOSYSTEMS & ENVIRONMENT, v. 259, p. 11-18, . (11/51710-2)
MACHADO, PEDRO GERBER; WALTER, ARNALDO; PICOLI, MICHELLE CRISTINA; JOAO, CRISTINA GERBER. Potential impacts on local quality of life due to sugarcane expansion: a case study based on panel data analysis. ENVIRONMENT DEVELOPMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY, v. 19, n. 5, p. 2069-2092, . (11/51710-2)

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