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Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1227; doi:10.3390/su8121227

A Comparison of Various Technological Options for Improving Energy and Water Use Efficiency in a Traditional Sugar Mill

1
Department of Energy Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Industrial Technology and Management (ITM), 10044 Stockholm, Sweden
2
Center for Energy and Environmental Technologies Assessment (CEETA), Faculty of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Central, University “Marta Abreu” of Las Villas (UCLV), 54830 Santa Clara, Cuba
3
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Industrial Technology and Management (ITM), 10044 Stockholm, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alessandro Franco
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 4 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract

This study is a comparison of four technological improvements proposed in previous works for the Cuban sugar mill Carlos Baliño. These technological options are: (1) utilization of excess wastewater for enhanced imbibition; (2) utilization of waste heat for thermally driven cooling; (3) utilization of excess bagasse for pellets; and (4) modification of the cogeneration unit for maximum electric power generation. The method used for the evaluation of the technological options involves using criteria such as energy saving, financial gains, and CO2 emission saving potential. The results of the analysis show that the first three technological improvement options are attractive only during the crushing season. On the other hand, the last technological improvement option can be attractive if a year round generation of surplus power is sought. The first technological improvement option leads to only minor changes in energy utilization, but the increase in sugar yield of 8.7% leads to attractive profitability with an extremely low payback period. The CO2 emissions saved due to the fourth technological improvement option are the highest (22,000 tonnes/year) and the cost of CO2 emissions saved for the third technological improvement option (lowest) amount to 41 USD/tonne of CO2 emissions saved. The cycle efficiencies of the third and fourth technological improvement options are 37.9% and 36.8%, respectively, with payback periods of 2.3 and 1.6 years. The second technological improvement option is the least attractive alternative of the group. View Full-Text
Keywords: sugar cane bagasse; Carlos Baliño; energy efficiency; wastewater reuse; imbibition; CO2 emission; absorption chiller; pellet; electricity; energy saving; payback period sugar cane bagasse; Carlos Baliño; energy efficiency; wastewater reuse; imbibition; CO2 emission; absorption chiller; pellet; electricity; energy saving; payback period
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Birru, E.; Erlich, C.; Herrera, I.; Martin, A.; Feychting, S.; Vitez, M.; Abdulhadi, E.B.; Larsson, A.; Onoszko, E.; Hallersbo, M.; Weilenmann, L.; Puskoriute, L. A Comparison of Various Technological Options for Improving Energy and Water Use Efficiency in a Traditional Sugar Mill. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1227.

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