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Open AccessArticle

Zapote Seed (Pouteria mammosa L.) Valorization for Thermal Energy Generation in Tropical Climates

1
Graduate School of Engineering and Technology, Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR), Av. de la Paz, 137, Logroño, 26006 La Rioja, Spain
2
Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores Juriquilla, UNAM, 76230 Queretaro, Mexico
3
Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Veracruzana Campus, 96535 Coatzacoalcos, Mexico
4
Departamento de Física Aplicada, Radiología y Medicina Física, ceiA3, Campus de Rabanales, Universidad de Córdoba, 14071 Córdoba, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4284; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104284
Received: 15 April 2020 / Revised: 12 May 2020 / Accepted: 20 May 2020 / Published: 23 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Energy Sustainability at Universities)
According to the Law for the Use of Renewable Energies and the Financing of Energy Transition, Mexico's goal for 2024 is to generate 35% of its energy from non-fossil sources. Each year, up to 2630 tons of residual biomass from the zapote industry are dismissed without sustainable use. The main purposes of this study were to determine the elemental chemical analysis of the zapote seed and its energy parameters to further evaluate its suitability as a solid biofuel in boilers for the generation of thermal energy in a tropical climate. Additionally, energy, economic, and environmental assessments of the installation were carried out. The results obtained show that zapote seed has a higher heating value (18.342 MJ/kg), which makes it appealing for power generation. The Yucatan Peninsula is the main zapote-producing region, with an annual production of 11,084 tons. If the stone of this fruit were used as biofuel, 7860.87 MWh could be generated and a CO2 saving of 1996.66 tons could be obtained. Additionally, replacing a 200 kW liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) boiler with a biomass boiler using zapote seed as a biofuel would result in a reduction of 60,960.00 kg/year of CO2 emissions. Furthermore, an annual saving of $7819.79 would be obtained, which means a saving of 53.19% relative to the old LPG installation. These results pave the way toward the utilization of zapote seed as a solid biofuel and contribute to achieving Mexico's energy goal for 2024 while promoting sustainability in universities.
Keywords: sustainability; renewable energy; zapote seed; universities; biomass boiler sustainability; renewable energy; zapote seed; universities; biomass boiler
MDPI and ACS Style

Perea-Moreno, M.-A.; Hernandez-Escobedo, Q.; Rueda-Martinez, F.; Perea-Moreno, A.-J. Zapote Seed (Pouteria mammosa L.) Valorization for Thermal Energy Generation in Tropical Climates. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4284.

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