Techno-economic analysis of the production of 2G ethanol and technical lignin via a protic ionic liquid pretreatment of sugarcane bagasse

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The increasing demand for renewable energy, fuels, and chemicals encourages the development of new biorefinery processes. This work presents a techno-economic analysis of the pretreatment of sugarcane bagasse using the protic ionic liquid 2-hydroxyethylammonium acetate ([MEA][OAc]) considering four washing methods to remove it from the pretreated pulp. In the best scenario, the increased enzymatic hydrolysis yield and the more efficient counter-current washing method contributed to an increased ethanol yield of 33 %. Despite the lower increment in ethanol yield compared with other second-generation processes, the production of technical lignin increased the reaction mass efficiency of the biorefinery by 5.6 % and led to an internal rate of return two percentage points higher. However, wastewater and vinasse production increased by 26 % and 50 %, respectively. These results indicate that protic ionic liquids are potentially good pretreatment agents to produce fuels and chemicals from biomass, thus underpinning the establishment of new biorefinery processes.



Biofuel, Biorefinery, Ionic liquid, Process simulation, Wastewater management

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Industrial Crops and Products, v. 189.