Thermo-economic evaluation of enzymatic-based sugarcane biorefinery route by experimental design approach:Identifying and overcoming bottlenecks 77-108 J. Albarelli, D. T. Santos, A. V. Ensinas, F. Marechal2, M. A. A. Meireles

Energy Education Science and Technology Part A: Energy Science and Research

2016 Volume (issues) 34(1): 77-108



Thermo-economic evaluation of
enzymatic-based sugarcane biorefinery
by experimental design approach:

Identifying and overcoming bottlenecks


Juliana Albarelli1,*, Diego T. Santos1, Adriano V. Ensinas2,

François Marechal2, M. Angela A. Meireles1


1LASEFI/DEA/FEA (School of Food Engineering)/UNICAMP (University of Campinas) Cidade Universitária "Zeferino Vaz", Rua Monteiro Lobato, 80; 13083-862, Campinas, SP, Brazil

2Industrial Process and Energy Systems Engineering (IPESE), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Station 9, 1015, Lausanne, Switzerland




Received: 11 December 2015; accepted 17 January2016



     The present study aims at evaluating a proposed sugarcane biorefinery by means of experimental design in order to identify bottlenecks and promote solutions. Computational simulation of a hypothetical Brazilian sugarcane biorefinery producing first and second generation ethanol using enzymatic route and electricity was accomplished using Aspen Plus software considering the most promising technologies available. In that extend, the influence of the enzyme loading, hydrolysis solid loading, enzymatic reaction time, amount of bagasse sent to second generation ethanol plant, sugarcane price, sugarcane leaves price, enzymes price on energy efficiency, total investment cost, payback time and second generation ethanol marginal production cost was evaluated using a full factorial design 27. Sugarcane and enzyme costs were statically significant to process payback time, being enzyme cost also significant to the second generation ethanol marginal production cost. At the end, some perspectives about the use of sub/supercritical fluid-based technologies alternatively to the evaluated route are presented.


Keywords: Brazilian sugarcane biorefinery; Computational simulation; Second generation ethanol; Full factorial design