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Investigation of uncertainties associated with the production of butanol in sugarcane biorefineries: techno-economic and marketing challenges

Grant number: 13/20308-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2014
Effective date (End): August 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Production Engineering
Principal researcher:Antonio Maria Francisco Luiz Jose Bonomi
Grantee:Lucas Gonçalves Pereira
Supervisor abroad: Heather L. MacLean
Home Institution: Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais (CNPEM). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovações (Brasil). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Toronto (U of T), Canada  
Associated to the scholarship:12/15192-0 - Economic and environmental multi-criteria approach to assess the viability of the biobutanol production in a Brazilian sugarcane biorefinery, BP.PD


The Virtual Sugarcane Biorefinery (VSB) is a novel tool under construction by the Technological Assessment Program (PAT) of the Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (CTBE), which integrates all the sugarcane production chain and allows the identification of technical and sustainability impacts related to the introduction of new technologies on the current Brazilian sugarcane biorefineries. Although VSB has presented several positive aspects for evaluating the viability of various biorefineries configurations, there is still room for improvement on its structure, mainly related to the development of methods for social analysis and the improvement of the analysis of financial impacts. The aim of this project is to identify and investigate critical techno-economic parameters and to assess the risks involved in the production of butanol from sugarcane, which has been envisioned as a better liquid fuel than ethanol with potential of aggregating value to the portfolio of biorefineries. This work will be carried out in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto in Canada, availing the experience of local researchers in the modeling, costing and marketing of alternative energy systems production. Technological biorefinery scenarios, parameters adopted and results already obtained in the postdoctoral project executed at CTBE will be used. This study will indicate financial viability issues not yet comprised in the assessment, such as risk and market analyses. Furthermore, results and knowledge obtained in this internship may guide potential methodological improvements in the VSB tool; in addition, the analysis framework can be applied to other technological scenarios aimed to add new products to the portfolio of sugarcane biorefineries in Brazil. (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)
PEREIRA, LUCAS G.; DIAS, MARINA O. S.; MACLEAN, HEATHER L.; BONOMI, ANTONIO. Investigation of uncertainties associated with the production of n-butanol through ethanol catalysis in sugarcane biorefineries. Bioresource Technology, v. 190, p. 242-250, AUG 2015. Web of Science Citations: 8.

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