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Evaluating Impacts of Future Biorefinery Industries

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Friday, 10 November 2017, 2:00

Wednesday, November 10, 2017. 2:00PM. Rômulo Ely, Rutgers University. Sponsored by Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and NJAES. More information pdf here. (506 KB)


Sugarcane-based technology for producing first generation ethanol is in the mature stage of development in Brazil, which is the world largest supplier of ethanol production from this re-source. Ethanol is supplied at competitive prices in the country and, from a perspective of carbon footprints, provides benefits compared to gasoline. In this vein, other sugarcane-producing countries might join the etha-nol bandwagon. Indeed, prime candidates are Australia, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and the United States of America. Along with colleagues, Rômulo evaluated potential economic consequences of growing this nascent industry in these countries using an input-output approach. Its potential was examined by configuring a new biofuel industry by borrowing information from the existing large-scale alcohol industry in Brazil and adjusting for possible productivity differentials. Brazil’s data are based on an IO-LCA (input-output life cycle assessment) approach. The industry’s sales were augmented following a hypothetical anhydrous ethanol consumption scenario. Thereafter, the national accounts were reconciled. The analysis was concluded by quantifying and comparing the different net effects of this new industry for each of the assessed countries: in the terms of labor compensation and employment. In a distinct, but somehow complementary project, Rômulo also have assessed impacts due to the implementation of advanced biorefinery technologies – along with colleagues. Since sugarcane bagasse is a byproduct of the ethanol (and sugar) production, Brazil is a large-scale producer of this lignocellulosic biomass, which is a promised in-put for novel biorefineries. Rômulo and his team also have built and compared different scenarios through a socioeconomic perspective – combining process analysis with an input-output approach. These industrial plants would be capable to convert sugarcane bagasse to: ethanol, electricity, DME, diesel, gasoline, higher alcohols, and succinic acid (a bio-chemical platform). The scenarios were simulated the scenarios for the São Paulo state, which is considered a Brazilian “sugarcane hub”. The analysis was concluded by estimating and comparing the multipliers of these six different technological routes for this specific region.

 

Location  Cook Office Building, Room 118, 55 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ.