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Enhancement of energy production from sugarcane in first generation biorefineries: biodigestion as the core conversion step

Grant number: 17/00080-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2017
Effective date (End): September 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering - Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Claudio Augusto Oller do Nascimento
Grantee:Lucas Tadeu Fuess
Host Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/50279-4 - Brasil Research Centre for Gas Innovation, AP.PCPE


The sucro-alcohol industry has significant participation in the Brazilian energy matrix, effectively contributing to the production of primary energy through various products, mainly ethanol, sugar, and electricity. However, the energy efficiency of the consolidated model of biorefinery in Brazil has some limitations, given that less than 25% of the gross energetic potential of sugarcane is recovered within ethanol production. In this context, this research project proposes the application of biodigestion as the core processing step for sugar-rich raw materials, i.e., juice and molasses, in biorefineries, aiming to produce hydrogen and methane. Effects of the codigestion of juice and molasses with vinasse will also be assessed, in an effort to obtain performance data for the design of flex biorefineries in which biogas is also a target-product of the plant. Performance data will be obtained from the operation of bench-scale anaerobic reactors, and will be further used to calculate mass and energy balances to measure the energetic gains compared to conventional biorefineries, i.e., without biodigestion. Different biogas applications will be considered, such as the generation of electricity from prime movers and the production of biomethane. This project will be inserted in a project of international cooperation between research groups from the Polytechnic School (EP/USP) and the National Environment Research Council (NERC - United Kingdom), and will be carried out, in part, at the São Carlos School of Engineering (EESC/USP). (AU)

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Scientific publications (10)
(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)
PIFFER, MICHAEL ANTONIO; ZAIAT, MARCELO; DO NASCIMENTO, CLAUDIO AUGUSTO OLLER; FUESS, LUCAS TADEU. Dynamics of sulfate reduction in the thermophilic dark fermentation of sugarcane vinasse: A biohydrogen-independent approach targeting enhanced bioenergy production. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICAL ENGINEERING, v. 9, n. 5, . (15/50684-9, 14/50279-4, 17/00080-5, 15/06246-7)
PIFFER, MICHAEL ANTONIO; OLIVEIRA, CRISTIANE ARRUDA; BOVIO-WINKLER, PATRICIA; ENG, FELIPE; ETCHEBEHERE, CLAUDIA; ZAIAT, MARCELO; DO NASCIMENTO, CLAUDIO AUGUSTO OLLER; FUESS, LUCAS TADEU. Sulfate- and pH-driven metabolic flexibility in sugarcane vinasse dark fermentation stimulates biohydrogen evolution, sulfidogenesis or homoacetogenesis. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYDROGEN ENERGY, v. 47, n. 73, p. 21-pg., . (14/50279-4, 15/06246-7, 20/03429-1, 15/50684-9, 17/00080-5)
FUESS, LUCAS TADEU; ZAIAT, MARCELO; OLLER DO NASCIMENTO, CLAUDIO AUGUSTO. Molasses vs. juice: Maximizing biohydrogen production in sugarcane biorefineries to diversify renewable energy generation. JOURNAL OF WATER PROCESS ENGINEERING, v. 37, p. 14-pg., . (15/50684-9, 17/00080-5, 15/06246-7)
SANTOS, PRISCILLA SOARES; ZAIAT, MARCELO; OLLER DO NASCIMENTO, CLAUDIO AUGUSTO; FUESS, LUCAS TADEU. Does sugarcane vinasse composition variability affect the bioenergy yield in anaerobic systems? A dual kinetic-energetic assessment. JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION, v. 240, . (15/50684-9, 17/00080-5, 15/06246-7)
FUESS, L. T.; CRUZ, R. B. C. M.; ZAIAT, M.; NASCIMENTO, C. A. O.. Diversifying the portfolio of sugarcane biorefineries: Anaerobic digestion as the core process for enhanced resource recovery. RENEWABLE & SUSTAINABLE ENERGY REVIEWS, v. 147, . (14/50279-4, 15/50684-9, 17/00080-5, 15/06246-7)
ENG SANCHEZ, FELIPE; TADEU FUESS, LUCAS; SOARES CAVALCANTE, GUILHERME; ANGELA TALARICO ADORNO, MARIA; ZAIAT, MARCELO. Value-added soluble metabolite production from sugarcane vinasse within the carboxylate platform: An application of the anaerobic biorefinery beyond biogas production. FUEL, v. 286, n. 1, . (15/06246-7, 17/00080-5, 16/21478-4)
FUESS, LUCAS TADEU; FUENTES, LAURA; BOVIO-WINKLER, PATRICIA; ENG, FELIPE; ETCHEBEHERE, CLAUDIA; ZAIAT, MARCELO; OLLER DO NASCIMENTO, CLAUDIO AUGUSTO. Full details on continuous biohydrogen production from sugarcane molasses are unraveled: Performance optimization, self-regulation, metabolic correlations and quanti-qualitative biomass characterization. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL, v. 414, . (15/06246-7, 15/50684-9, 17/00080-5, 14/50279-4)
FUESS, LUCAS TADEU; ENG, FELIPE; BOVIO-WINKLER, PATRICIA; ETCHEBEHERE, CLAUDIA; ZAIAT, MARCELO; NASCIMENTO, CLAUDIO AUGUSTO OLLER DO. Methanogenic consortia from thermophilic molasses-fed structured-bed reactors: microbial characterization and responses to varying food-to-microorganism ratios. Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering, v. N/A, p. 21-pg., . (17/00080-5, 15/06246-7, 14/50279-4, 15/50684-9)
ENG, FELIPE; FUESS, LUCAS TADEU; BOVIO-WINKLER, PATRICIA; ETCHEBEHERE, CLAUDIA; SAKAMOTO, ISABEL KIMIKO; ZAIAT, MARCELO. Optimization of volatile fatty acid production by sugarcane vinasse dark fermentation using a response surface methodology. Links between performance and microbial community composition. SUSTAINABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES AND ASSESSMENTS, v. 53, p. 12-pg., . (17/00080-5, 18/12748-3, 16/21478-4, 15/06246-7)

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