Carbon footprint of the generation of bioelectricity from sugarcane bagasse in a sugar and ethanol industry
by Monica Carvalho; Valdir Bernardino Da Silva Segundo; Mariane Gama De Medeiros; Nataly Albuquerque Dos Santos; Luiz Moreira Coelho Junior
International Journal of Global Warming (IJGW), Vol. 17, No. 3, 2019

Abstract: Brazil indicated a commitment of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the Paris Conference in 2015, which has led the Brazilian government to incentivise the use of renewable energy sources. Biomass is a renewable energy source that can be used to produce electricity, with its availability mainly connected to the sugar and alcohol sector in Brazil. The study presented herein applied the life cycle assessment methodology to the generation of electricity from sugarcane bagasse and from diesel in thermoelectric power plants, and verified the potential to mitigate climate change. The production of electricity from sugarcane bagasse presented a low carbon footprint (0.227 kg CO2-eq/kWh), much lower than the diesel thermoelectric process (1.060 kg CO2-eq/kWh). Considering that diesel-based electricity could be substituted by bioelectricity, the result would be overall avoided emissions of −0.833 kg CO2-eq/kWh. The progressive use of sugarcane bagasse as a source of electricity presents therefore the potential to help mitigate climate change, being part of a wider scheme for the substitution of fuels.

Online publication date: Mon, 25-Mar-2019

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