Techno-economic assessment of biorefinery technologies for aviation biofuels supply chains in Brazil

Catarina M. Alves, Misha Valk, Sierk de Jong, Antonio Bonomi, Luuk A. M. van der Wielen, Solange Ines Mussatto

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Production of aviation biofuels has been strongly encouraged by the volatility of oil prices and environmental concerns. Brazilian society, companies, and government are taking a step forward in the production of renewable jet fuel from biomass feedstocks largely available in the territory. This study evaluated the use of different feedstocks (sugar crops, oil crops, and lignocellulosic biomass)
for co-production of biojet fuel and higher value-added products in a biorefinery platform. The co-production of biofuels and biochemicals in a biorefinery context was demonstrated to be economically feasible. The main cost drivers of such a platform are feedstock biomass cost, selling price of the biochemicals, investment costs, and key process-inherent parameters such as conversion yields,
obtained fermentable sugars, or oil content in the feedstock. Sugarcane was the most promising feedstock for a biorefinery in the region of Minas Gerais, while soybean was the most promising feedstock
for a biorefinery in the region of Rio Grande do Sul, despite its higher uncertainty. Succinic acid was the most promising chemical intermediate for biopolymers industry due to its relatively high market
value, unique market opportunity as a substitute of conventional petrochemicals, and forecast for future growth. Ethanol-to-jet (ETJ) and hydro-processed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) were the most
attractive biojet fuel production routes in the present study. Scenarios for co-production of biofuels and biochemicals in Brazil present large uncertainties and high financial risk, mainly due to the use
of second-generation feedstocks, and the introduction of new technologies and products.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining
Number of pages25
ISSN1932-104X
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aviation biofuels
  • Biochemicals
  • Biorefinery
  • Lignocellulosic feedstocks
  • Techno-economic evaluation
  • Risk assessment

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