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Resources 2017, 6(1), 1; doi:10.3390/resources6010001

Environmental and Energy Performance of Ethanol Production from the Integration of Sugarcane, Corn, and Grain Sorghum in a Multipurpose Plant

1
Institute of Energy and Environment, University of Sao Paulo, Av. Prof Luciano Gualberto, 1289, 05508-900 Sao Paulo, Brazil
2
Chemical Engineering Department, Polytechnic School of the University of Sao Paulo, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes, 580, Bloco 18—Conjunto das Quimicas, 05424-970 Sao Paulo, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Diego Iribarren and Ian Vázquez-Rowe
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 12 December 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 27 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Analysis of Energy Systems under Sustainability Aspects)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1573 KB, uploaded 27 December 2016]   |  

Abstract

Although in the last 40 years only sugarcane has been harnessed for the production of ethanol in Brazil, corn production has grown strongly in certain areas, and may serve as a supplementary feedstock for ethanol production in integrated plants during the sugarcane off-season. The aim of this study is to evaluate the environmental and energy performance of ethanol production from sugarcane, corn, and grain sorghum in a Flex Mill in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. A life cycle assessment was carried out to survey the production of ethanol from each individual feedstock, and the integration of two of these to increase production during a one-year period. Results indicate that the environmental and energy performance are greatly influenced by agricultural activities, highlighting the importance of sugarcane cultivation. Still, there was an increasing trend of Climate Change impacts, Human Toxicity (carcinogenic) and Ecotoxicity, as well as reduced impact of Photochemical Oxidant Formation and Energy Return on Investment (EROI) as the proportion of ethanol from starchy sources in integration scenarios increases. View Full-Text
Keywords: life cycle assessment; ethanol; sugarcane; corn; grain sorghum; Brazil; EROI; Flex Mil life cycle assessment; ethanol; sugarcane; corn; grain sorghum; Brazil; EROI; Flex Mil
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MDPI and ACS Style

Donke, A.; Nogueira, A.; Matai, P.; Kulay, L. Environmental and Energy Performance of Ethanol Production from the Integration of Sugarcane, Corn, and Grain Sorghum in a Multipurpose Plant. Resources 2017, 6, 1.

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