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Technical and environmental assessment of sugarcane straw and eucalyptus forest residues as feedstocks for biorefineries at São Paulo State

Grant number: 18/20173-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2018
Effective date (End): October 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Cooperation agreement: BBSRC, UKRI
Principal researcher:Carla Kazue Nakao Cavaliero
Grantee:Guilherme Pessoa Nogueira
Home Institution: Núcleo Interdisciplinar de Planejamento Energético (NIPE). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/50612-8 - An integrated approach to explore a novel paradigm for biofuel production from lignocellulosic feedstocks, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):19/10439-6 - Life cycle assessment of second-generation biorefineries based on sugarcane straw and eucalyptus forest residues as feedstocks, BE.EP.DD


Agricultural waste management is a topic of intense discussion and extends to food crops, energy crops and even forestry, to which sugarcane and eucalyptus cultures are no exceptions. Sugarcane straw and eucalyptus forest residues play an important role in soil coverage and protection, but excess can also be a problem, since issues such as pest proliferation and accidental fires may arise. There is, therefore, an optimum amount to be left on field, allowing some retrieval of these materials. Both residues are valuable sources of lignocellulosic sugars and potential feedstocks for biorefineries. Power generation is the most common application of these residues in the industry, but this as the only application contradicts a core concept of biorefineries: optimum valorization of biomass. Such facilities should present a wide product portfolio, including value added products, in order to make this business attractive. Another great challenge of bioenergy production is to ensure its sustainability in a broader sense, economically, environmentally and socially speaking. In this context, this project aims to evaluate the technical feasibility and environmental sustainability of using these residues to feed an integrated biorefinery. Process design and simulation on Aspen Plus will be carried out to provide mass and energy balances for the production of ethanol, electricity and biochemicals. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the main products will be performed, considering a regional scale in São Paulo state. The resulting profiles will then be compared with their established counterparts (such as gasoline and 1G ethanol). With this, an integrated biorefinery process design, fed by non-conventional biomasses, is to be presented as an environmentally sustainable alternative for the bioeconomy context. (AU)