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Development of biorefinery models using experimental sugarcane hybrids and energy cane with different pretreatment methods

Grant number: 15/10756-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2015
Effective date (End): March 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Enzymology
Principal Investigator:Antonio Maria Francisco Luiz Jose Bonomi
Grantee:Fernanda Machado Mendes Carvalho
Host Institution: Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais (CNPEM). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brasil). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/06923-6 - Sugar cane biomass recalcitrance: basic knowledge related to the cell wall construction, pretreatment and enzymatic digestion, applied for the development of innovative biorefinery models, AP.BIOEN.TEM


Increasing concerns about climate change, energy security and depletion of petroleum reserves have motivated the search for alternative forms of energy and replacement of fossil derived resources as feedstock in the production of chemicals. Bioethanol is foreseen as a biofuel with large potential to replace fossil fuels, and can be produced from low cost, abundant lignocellulosic materials. Taking sugarcane as an example, its lignocellulosic fractions are already available at industry site. However, the plant cell walls are recalcitrant. Methods that convert sugarcane bagasse into fermentable sugars are generally comprised of two main steps: a pretreatment to degrade the plant structure and an enzymatic hydrolysis step to convert the polymeric chains into monomeric sugars. Each pretreatment technology has a different mechanism of action on the bagasse structure inducing physical and/or chemical modifications, which are necessary because the presence of hemicellulose and lignin in the cell walls prevents cellulases from accessing fractions of the substrate. In this post-doctoral program, pretreatment processes like alkali sulfite, sulfite-acid, alkaline and dilute acid will be evaluated, along with their impact on bagasse from different experimental sugarcane hybrids. These hybrids contain contrasting contents of their components and are or have been assessed in different research projects (Thematic Proposal 2014/06923-6) in LOT/EEL-USP, and in addition to the Energy cane - a sugarcane variety with more fibers and lower sugar content - are expected to increase second generation ethanol production. Data obtained in the laboratory will be used for the design and simulation of the process and the results will be used as basis for environmental, technical and economic analysis to select the best routes for ethanol production, along with and other products, in a sugarcane biorefinery. Simulation of first and second generation bioethanol production processes from sugarcane will be carried out, and different production routes will be assessed by environmental and technical-economic analyses. Simulation and analyses proposed in this project area fundamental to guide and evaluate the development of the Thematic Proposal to which this post-doctoral program is inserted.

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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)
VASCONCELOS, MARCELO HOLANDA; MENDES, FERNANDA MACHADO; RAMOS, LUCAS; DIAS, MARINA OLIVEIRA S.; BONOMI, ANTONIO; JESUS, CHARLES DAYAN F.; WATANABE, MARCOS DJUN B.; JUNQUEIRA, TASSIA LOPES; MILAGRES, ADRIANE MARIA F.; FERRAZ, ANDRE; et al. Techno-economic assessment of bioenergy and biofuel production in integrated sugarcane biorefinery: Identification of technological bottlenecks and economic feasibility of dilute acid pretreatment. ENERGY, v. 199, . (15/10756-0, 14/06923-6)
MENDES, F. M.; VASCONCELOS, M. H.; DIAS, M. O. S.; FERRAZ, A.; MILAGRES, A. M. F.; SANTOS, J. C.; JESUS, C. D. F.; WATANABE, M. D. B.; JUNQUEIRA, T. L.; BONOMI, A.. Alkaline sulfite pretreatment for integrated first and second generation ethanol production: A techno-economic assessment of sugarcane hybrids. BIOMASS & BIOENERGY, v. 119, p. 314-321, . (15/10756-0, 14/06923-6)
MENDES, F. M.; DIAS, M. O. S.; FERRAZ, A.; MILAGRES, A. M. F.; SANTOS, J. C.; BONOMI, A.. Techno-economic impacts of varied compositional profiles of sugarcane experimental hybrids on a biorefinery producing sugar, ethanol and electricity. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING RESEARCH & DESIGN, v. 125, p. 72-78, . (14/06923-6, 15/10756-0)
RAMOS, LUCAS; VASCONCELOS, MARCELO H.; MILAGRES, ADRIANE M. F.; FERRAZ, ANDRE; DIAS, MARINA O. S.; MENDES, FERNANDA M.; DOS SANTOS, JULIO C.. High-solid enzymatic hydrolysis of sugarcane bagasse and ethanol production in repeated batch process using column reactors. 3 BIOTECH, v. 11, n. 10, . (15/10756-0, 14/06923-6)

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