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Use of algae for CO2 emissions mitigation in the sugarcane industry through a new biorefinery model

Grant number: 12/19157-4
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 15, 2013
Effective date (End): December 14, 2013
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal researcher:Joaquim Eugênio Abel Seabra
Grantee:Simone Pereira de Souza
Supervisor abroad: Anand R. Gopal
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Mecânica (FEM). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:11/06917-8 - Assessment of environmental and economic aspects of the integrated production of bioenergy and food, BP.DR


Due to its large photosynthetic capacity, algae present higher conversion rates, compared to oilseeds, of solar energy and CO2 into lipids. Given the high availability of CO2 in the sugarcane mills and the high consumption of diesel for sugarcane production, this project proposes to assess a new biorefinery model that comprises the integration between the sugarcane industry and the production of algae biodiesel. The algae production technology is based on the capture and recycling of the CO2 produced in the fermentation vats and biomass boilers of the sugarcane mill. This biorefinery model can potentially replace the fossil diesel used for sugarcane cultivation and favor the ethyl transesterification route due to the integration with ethanol production. The biorefinery products comprise the sugarcane bioethanol, algae biodiesel, bioelectricity, sugar, algae protein, polyunsaturated fatty acid and glycerin. The objective of the project is to evaluate the environmental performance of this biorefinery model. The environmental aspects to be considered are the fossil-renewable energy balance and the ability to mitigate GHG emissions, based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) technique. The life cycle inventories related to sugarcane ethanol production were assembled in Brazil, while the data associated with the algae biodiesel scope will be collected during the research internship at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory/UC Berkeley, in collaboration with the Joint Bioenergy Institute (San Francisco, CA). The LCA results will be subjected to sensitivity analyses and uncertainty analyses using the Monte Carlo method. (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)
SOUZA, SIMONE P.; GOPAL, ANAND R.; SEABRA, JOAQUIM E. A. Life cycle assessment of biofuels from an integrated Brazilian algae-sugarcane biorefinery. ENERGY, v. 81, p. 373-381, MAR 1 2015. Web of Science Citations: 20.

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