A spatially explicit assessment of sugarcane vinasse as a sustainable by-product

Luz Selene Buller, Cristhy Willy da Silva Romero, Rubens Augusto Camargo Lamparelli, Samuel Fontenelle Ferreira, Ana Paula Bortoleto, Solange I. Mussatto, Tânia Forster-Carneiro

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This study evaluates the benefits of mineral fertilizers replacement for biodigested vinasse. Data from experimental anaerobic digestion (AD) of vinasse were applied to support the analysis. Based on previous experiments, this assessment assumed that vinasse production could reach 2.38 × 107 m3/year generating around 66,585 MWh/year of electric energy from biogas burning in the Administrative Region of Campinas (ARC). This amount of energy could supply more than 103,000 inhabitants and avoid 35,892 tCO2eq/year (from electric energy replacement). The biodigested vinasse might also reduce the total N, P, and K mineral fertilizers demand per hectare of sugarcane crop in 30%, 1%, and 46%, respectively, avoiding additional greenhouse gas emissions of 111,877 tCO2eq/year. There is no biodigested vinasse surplus for a moderate fertigation rate of 100 m3/ha, complying with local environmental laws related to nutrients excess side effects in areas destined to sugarcane crop. Notwithstanding, a Geographic Information System analysis for a small adjacent area to ARC indicated nine different fertigation rates, ranging from 50 to 100 m3/ha. Even though the general analysis for ARC shows high NPK replacement levels, the fertigation practices should be subsidized for robust soil analysis and adequate to safe environmental levels. A management tool can be designed using the results here presented to subsidize investments for AD widespread adoption by the sugarcane industry to catch a reasonable practice from the economic and environmental perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
Article number142717
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Biogas
  • Renewable energy
  • Biofertilizer
  • GHG mitigration
  • Environmental conservaton


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