A Techno-Economic Evaluation of the Effects of Centralized Cellulosic Ethanol and CO-Products Refinery Options with Sugarcane Mill Clustering

Joaquim E.A. Seabra, Ling Tao, Helena L. Chum, Isaias C. Macedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus Citations

Abstract

This work compares the calculated techno-economic performance for thermochemical and biochemical conversion of sugarcane residues, considering future conversion plants adjacent to sugarcane mills in Brazil. Process models developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory were adapted to reflect the Brazilian feedstock composition and used to estimate the cost and performance of these two conversion technologies. Models assumed that surplus bagasse from the mill would be used as the feedstock for conversion, while cane trash collected from the field would be used as supplementary fuel at the mill. The integration of the conversion technology to the mill enabled an additional ethanol production of 0.033m3 per tonne of cane for the biochemical process and 0.025m3t-1 of cane plus 0.004m3t-1 of cane of higher alcohols for the thermochemical process. For both cases, electricity is an important co-product for the biorefinery, but especially for biochemical conversion, with surpluses of about 50kWht-1 of cane. The economic performance of the two technologies is quite similar in terms of the minimum ethanol selling price (MESP), at 318$m-3 (United States 2007 dollars) for biochemical conversion and 329$m-3 for thermochemical conversion.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1065-1078
Number of pages14
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
Volume34
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-510-49068

Keywords

  • Bioethanol
  • Brazil
  • CHP
  • Gasification
  • Hydrolysis
  • Saccharum officinarum

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