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Energies 2018, 11(1), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11010073

Thermodynamic and Environmental Analysis of Scaling up Cogeneration Units Driven by Sugarcane Biomass to Enhance Power Exports

Chemical Engineering Department, Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo, Avenida Professor Lineu Prestes, 580, Bloco 18—Conjunto das Químicas, São Paulo 05508-000, SP, Brazil
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Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 1 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems)
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Abstract

When manual harvesting of sugarcane was discontinued in many regions of Brazil, interest in power generation by burning the bagasse and straw in cogeneration units rose. Exergy analysis is often applied to increase the thermodynamic yield of these plants by identifying irreversibility and work availability. Conversely, pressure for adopting clean energy requires these systems to be evaluated for suitable environmental performance. This study identified and discussed the thermodynamic and environmental effects of scaling up systems that operate according Rankine cycle with reheating. Ten scenarios have been designed considering different levels of steam pressure and addition rates of straw remaining in the sugarcane cultivation. The thermodynamic analysis revealed a 37% improvement in the exergy efficiency and 63% of increasing in power generation to raise the steam pressure from 20 to 100 bar. Moreover, the use of 50% of residual straw into units operating at 100 bar can more than double the amount of electricity exported. If addressed considering a life cycle perspective, the use of straw improves the environmental performance of the cogeneration for Climate Change and Particle Matter Formation but provides additional impacts in terms of Water and Fossil resources depletions. View Full-Text
Keywords: cogeneration; sugarcane biomass; exergy analysis; Life Cycle Assessment; bioelectricity; Rankine cycle cogeneration; sugarcane biomass; exergy analysis; Life Cycle Assessment; bioelectricity; Rankine cycle
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Guerra, J.P.; Cardoso, F.H.; Nogueira, A.; Kulay, L. Thermodynamic and Environmental Analysis of Scaling up Cogeneration Units Driven by Sugarcane Biomass to Enhance Power Exports. Energies 2018, 11, 73.

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