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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2022-12-01

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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.

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

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Industrial Crops and Products, v. 189.

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