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      Sustainability Study Of Sugarcane And Sweet Sorghum As Feedstocks For Biotehanol Production

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            Abstract

            Sustainability study of bioethanol production from sugarcane and sweet sorghum was conducted using superPro® Designer and OpenLCA sustainability softwares. The model incorporated the different bioethanol production technologies: pretreatment (sterilization), fermentation and purification. The paper confronted the challenge of fossil fuel derived environmental damages of GHG emission and economic implications of dwindling crude oil prices. This study is aimed at efficient production and consumption of sugarcane and sweet sorghum-based fuel-grade bioethanol with the established economic minimum bioethanol plant capacity of 95 000 m 3/annum.

            Based on the economic sustainability indices assessed, the plant using sugarcane had a higher return on investment (ROI) of 26.64% than that utilizing sweet sorghum (18.34%). Their corresponding payback periods were estimated to be 3.75 and 5.5 years respectively. Hence, sugarcane is a more economically viable feedstock for bioethanol production at an annual plant capacity of 95,000 m 3. The environmental assessment conducted on the two feedstocks using life cycle assessment approach in OpenLCA sustainability software showed that the process utilising sugarcane posed lesser environmental burden with higher net energy balance (NEB) of 7.6 but lower net energy renewability (NER) of 50.8. The results of environmental assessment showed that CO 2 emissions in the sugarcane and sweet sorghum processes constituted the highest pollutants emission/discharge costs with about 98% and 98.53% respectively. The lost work analyses of the feedstocks processing showed that distillation columns were the least energy efficient units in both processing plants recording 24.65% and 22.90% for sugarcane and sweet sorghum plants respectively. Although the total lost work in sweet sorghum process (62,506.68kW) was higher than that of sugarcane process (41,581.14kW). Hence, sugarcane is economically and environmentally more sustainable as feedstock for fuel-grade bioethanol production than sweet sorghum.

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            ScienceOpen Preprints
            ScienceOpen
            19 June 2022
            Affiliations
            [1 ] Department of Chemical Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
            Author notes
            Article
            10.14293/S2199-1006.1.SOR-.PPCNDGP.v1
            7ae85477-cf64-4f82-aec4-2daba57927a1

            This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .


            All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article (and its supplementary information files).
            Engineering
            Sustainability,fuel-grade bioethanol,lost work,environmental burden,Nigeria,net energy balance,energy renewability

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