(619t) The Use of Sugar Cane for Small Biorefineries Serving Small Holders in Colombia | AIChE

(619t) The Use of Sugar Cane for Small Biorefineries Serving Small Holders in Colombia


González, A. - Presenter, Universidad Nacional de Colombia sede Amazonía
Franco, M., Sena
Cardona Alzate, C. A., Universidad Nacional de Colombia Sede Manizales

Colombia is the third-ranked country in the world in terms of biodiversity, housing approximately the 10% of the world species, and the fourth-ranked in terms of hydrographic resources. According to the Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística (DANE), from 2000 to 2009, agriculture contributed an increase of 27.4% to the Colombian Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

By 2005, 4.058.470 ha were dedicated to perennial and annual crops, which correspond to the 98% of the agriculture production while the remaining 2% corresponds to fallow areas. In Colombia, the cutting and transformation processes of the different crops lead to the generation of more than 27 million tons of wastes per year. These agricultural crop residues can be classified as field and processing residues. Residues left in an agricultural field after harvesting the crop such as empty fruit bunches from palm plantations; discarded fruits, leaves and stems, straw and stalk and seed pods are considered field residues. On the other hand, materials obtained as byproducts after processing the crops such as husks, seeds, bagasse and roots are classified as processing residues. According to the Ministerio de Minas y Energía, 75% of the total biomass produced by the agricultural sector in Colombia corresponds to crop residues, while processing residues represent the remaining 25%. Although 100% of the processing residues can be recovered to obtain valuable products such as energy and biofuels, a percentage of the field residues should be recycled onto the land. Field residues protects the soil from erosion, helps build organic matter and contributes nutrients back to the soil. The percentage of residue removal depends on the specific local climatic and soil conditions. However, it is estimated that the residue removal can reach 35% without adverse effects on future yields. Therefore, Colombia has a great production of lignocellulosic biomass with no currently applications.

Sugar cane bagasse (SCB) is the fibrous residue obtained after extracting the juice from sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) in the sugar production process. It is one of the major lignocellulosic materials found in great quantities in tropical countries. According to FAO approximately 1870 million Tons of sugarcane were processed in 2013 throughout the world. Currently, the most common use for SCB is the energy production through cogeneration plants. Although, because of the importance of SCB as an industrial waste, there is great interest in developing methods for the biological production of fuel and chemicals that offer economic, environmental, and strategic advantages, such as furfural, hydroxymethylfurfural, paper paste or ethanol.

A techno-economic analysis for sugar cane bagasse production on a biorefinery concept is presented. A production schedule comprised three stages: pretreatment, extraction and product concentration. A simulation procedure uses software Aspen Plus and Aspen Process economic analyzer package (Aspen Technologies Inc.).