Techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment for energy generation from sugarcane bagasse: Case study for a sugar mill in Mexico

Myriam A. Amezcua-Allieri, Elías Martínez-Hernández, Omar Anaya-Reza, Moisés Magdaleno-Molina, Luis A. Melgarejo-Flores, M. Esther Palmerín-Ruiz, Juan A.Zermeño Eguía-Lis, Andrés Rosas-Molina, Manuel Enríquez-Poy, Jorge Aburto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


© 2019 Institution of Chemical Engineers The use of alternative energy that is economically favorable for power generation is not a new issue, but the need to transit to a new energy low carbon pool is growing and replacing the use of fossil fuels stepwise by other cleaner energies, like bioenergy. The production of sugarcane and derivatives is a high energy intensive industry that has partially replaced the use of fossil fuels in the sugar mills, in order to diminish operational costs and improving the performance due to cogeneration capabilities. Nevertheless, there are few techno-economic analysis derived from the substitution of fossil fuels by biomass in energy cogeneration together with environmental impacts. In this work, we compare the techno-economical implementation and attributional life cycle analysis of a sugar production process using fuel oil or sugarcane bagasse for energy cogeneration of a sugar mill located in southern Mexico. The results favor the use of sugar cane bagasse with a bagasse processing capacity of 2852 t per day when compared to the use of fuel oil. The first shows a cost per unit of energy produced of 5.5 vs. 14 USD/GJ for fuel oil; and a potential environmental impact index of 2528 vs. 20,200 PEI/GJ for the latter. The use of solid biofuels derived from wastes in food-related industries, such as sugar production, can support positive synergies at the environmental-water-food-energy nexus.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)281-292
Number of pages12
JournalFood and Bioproducts Processing
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

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