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Open AccessArticle

A Novel Approach to Minimize Energy Requirements and Maximize Biomass Utilization of the Sugarcane Harvesting System in Sri Lanka

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Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba 305-8572, Japan
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Division of Mechanization Technology, Sugarcane Research Institute, Uda Walawe 70190, Sri Lanka
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Division of Crop Nutrition, Sugarcane Research Institute, Uda Walawe 70190, Sri Lanka
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Division of Technology Transfer and Development, Sugarcane Research Institute, Uda Walawe 70190, Sri Lanka
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Economics Biometry & IT Division, Sugarcane Research Institute, Uda Walawe 70190, Sri Lanka
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Processing Technology, Sugarcane Research Institute, Uda Walawe 70190, Sri Lanka
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Department of Regional Resource Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan
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Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(6), 1497; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13061497
Received: 19 February 2020 / Revised: 17 March 2020 / Accepted: 20 March 2020 / Published: 22 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Valorization of Sustainable Biomass and Bioresidues)
Sugarcane harvesting requires a significant amount of energy and time to manage dry leaves after the harvesting process. Therefore, the objective of this study was to minimize the energy requirement to process the cane and dry leaves’ harvesting (CDLH) for sugarcane while, at the same time, maximizing sugar production from cane and energy from dry leaves in Sri Lanka. The CDLH was conceptualized using a novel approach to optimize sugarcane harvesting to maximize biomass supply for energy production while reducing supply chain sugar-loss. The CDLH was investigated for manual harvesting capacity, energy consumption, sugar loss, and biomass energy potential. It was observed that CDLH consumed higher energy compared to the present practices of harvesting. However, the energy used for fieldwork was reduced because of the shifting of cane chopping and cleaning from the field to the factory. Low bulk density of the harvested cane of the CDLH system had a higher energy requirement in transportation. Comparatively, CDLH showed higher biomass energy potential and less sugar loss. High energy potential increases the energy potential to consumption ratio compared to the existing method. Therefore, the theoretical evaluation showed that the CDLH system can produce more than 20 kg of sugar and 879 MJ of electricity when processing 1 t of sugarcane. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass; cane-energy; cogeneration; sugar; sugarcane harvesting; Sri Lanka biomass; cane-energy; cogeneration; sugar; sugarcane harvesting; Sri Lanka
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Ariyawansha, T.; Abeyrathna, D.; Kulasekara, B.; Pottawela, D.; Kodithuwakku, D.; Ariyawansha, S.; Sewwandi, N.; Bandara, W.; Ahamed, T.; Noguchi, R. A Novel Approach to Minimize Energy Requirements and Maximize Biomass Utilization of the Sugarcane Harvesting System in Sri Lanka. Energies 2020, 13, 1497.

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