18-25: Maximizing feedstock availability for second generation in integrated first and second generation ethanol production from sugarcane

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Napoleon Ballroom C-D, 3rd fl (Sheraton New Orleans)
Tassia L. Junqueira1, Marina O. S. Dias1, Otávio Cavalett1, Marcelo P. Cunha1, Charles D. F. Jesus1, Paulo E. Mantelatto1, Carlos E. V. Rossell1, Marcelo Zaiat2, Rubens Maciel Filho3 and Antonio Bonomi1, (1)Laboratório Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia do Bioetanol (CTBE), Campinas, Brazil, (2)Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos - USP, São Carlos, Brazil, (3)Faculdade de Engenharia Química - UNICAMP, Campinas, Brazil
Integrated first and second generation ethanol production from sugarcane has several advantages over stand-alone second generation plants. The most important aspect of this process is that the lignocellulosic feedstock is already available at the industrial facility where conventional (first generation) bioethanol production takes place. Nevertheless, the lignocellulosic material is already used as a fuel for steam and electricity production; thus, the integrated first and second generation ethanol production process must reduce its steam consumption and use process residues as fuel, in order to provide larger amounts of surplus lignocellulosic material to be used as feedstock for second generation.

In this study rigorous simulations of the integrated first and second generation bioethanol production were carried out using Aspen Plus. The goal of this study was to evaluate the technological improvements to be implemented in the process in order to make available 100% of the lignocellulosic material (bagasse produced in the mills and sugarcane trash recovered from the field) for second generation ethanol production. The process design alternatives considered include pentoses liquor and vinasse biodigestion for production of biogas,  use of unreacted cellulignin as a fuel, thermal integration and high solids loading in hydrolysis, among other improvements.

Environmental assessment (LCA) and economic analysis were carried out to indicate which configurations lead to the best economic and environmental results. Results show that these technological improvements can significantly increase ethanol production and improve process sustainability.

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