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Open AccessArticle

Feasibility Assessment of Converting Sugar Mills to Bioenergy Production in Africa

Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (CTBE), Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM), P.O. Box 6192, Campinas 13083-970, Brazil
Interdisciplinary Center for Energy Planning (Nipe/Unicamp), Rua Cora Coralina 330, Campinas 13083-896, Brazil
Federal University of the Southern Frontier (UFFS), Av. Fernando Machado 108E, P.O. Box 181, Chapecó 89802-112, Brazil
Technical University of Mozambique (UDM), Av. Albert Lithuli 418/38, Maputo, Mozambique
School of Agriculture Engineering (Feagri/Unicamp), Av. Cândido Rondon 501, Campinas 13083-875, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gbadebo Oladosu
Agriculture 2016, 6(3), 45;
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 1 September 2016 / Accepted: 2 September 2016 / Published: 8 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Sustainability of Bioenergy Systems)
World sugar production has consistently overrun demand in the past five years. Moreover, in 2017 the European Sugar Regime will expire, ending the quota system and preferential sugar prices, largely affecting small producers, particularly in Africa. Diversification emerges as an option for sugar-oriented mills. Two evident alternatives are ethanol and electricity production that allow better use of molasses and cane fibers, respectively. Molasses is the cheapest feedstock for ethanol production, while the cane fibers—in the form of bagasse—are readily available at the mill. The transition from sugar to sugar, ethanol and electricity may require substantial investment capital, yet our results show that significant progress can start at relatively small cost. In this work, we use simulations to explore the impact of ethanol and electricity production in an existing sugar mill in Mozambique. In spite of the large amounts of energy obtained from ambitious scenarios, such as Ethanol-2 and Ethanol/EE, molasses-based ethanol (Ethanol-1 scenario) seems more attractive in economical and infrastructural terms. High opportunity costs for molasses, low oil prices and enabling institutional conditions, such as mandatory blending mandates, to promote bioenergy remain a challenge. View Full-Text
Keywords: sugarcane ethanol; biomass electricity; simulation; Mozambique sugarcane ethanol; biomass electricity; simulation; Mozambique
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MDPI and ACS Style

Leal, M.R.L.V.; Leite, J.G.D.B.; Chagas, M.F.; Da Maia, R.; Cortez, L.A.B. Feasibility Assessment of Converting Sugar Mills to Bioenergy Production in Africa. Agriculture 2016, 6, 45.

AMA Style

Leal MRLV, Leite JGDB, Chagas MF, Da Maia R, Cortez LAB. Feasibility Assessment of Converting Sugar Mills to Bioenergy Production in Africa. Agriculture. 2016; 6(3):45.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Leal, Manoel R.L.V.; Leite, João G.D.B.; Chagas, Mateus F.; Da Maia, Rui; Cortez, Luís A.B. 2016. "Feasibility Assessment of Converting Sugar Mills to Bioenergy Production in Africa" Agriculture 6, no. 3: 45.

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