Title: An energy analysis of first to third-generation bioethanol production in Brazil: the potential for CO2 emissions

Authors: Flavio Numata Jr.

Addresses: Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa – FCT&UNL, Universidade Positivo – UP, R. Dep. Heitor Alencar Furtado, 5000, 81280-340, Curitiba-PR, Brazil

Abstract: First (1G), second (2G) and third-generation (3G) ethanol industrialisation produces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increases carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere. In this study, a life cycle assessment (LCA) concluded that hydrolysis and filtration processes have the largest environmental impact, and despite a trend of increased discharge generated by electricity related to 3G introduction, thermodynamic processes still show the highest emissions. These results demonstrate the importance of developing a strong technology base in biofuel industrialisation, predominantly due to the vast potential of 3G production, which increasingly requires higher energy consumption and more efficiency from the industrial system. As such, the aim of this paper is to assess the environmental impact caused by CO2 emissions in 1G, 2G and 3G ethanol production.

Keywords: energy analysis; life cycle assessment; LCA; CO2 emissions; bioethanol.

DOI: 10.1504/IJETP.2021.111921

International Journal of Energy Technology and Policy, 2021 Vol.17 No.1, pp.38 - 60

Accepted: 01 Nov 2019
Published online: 21 Dec 2020 *

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