Accardi D., Russo P., Lauri R., Pietrangeli B., Di Palma L., 2015, From Soil Remediation to Biofuel: Process Simulation of Bioethanol Production from Arundo donax, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 43, 2167-2172.
A range of energy crops can be grown on marginal land (i.e. land that is not suitable for food crop production or contaminated site) to provide feedstocks for bioenergy, non-food products and biofuels. The food versus fuel debate had a significant negative impact in Europe on first generation biofuels production from food crops (i.e. wheat, rapeseed, etc). A new approach involving the use of marginal land for the production of lignocellulosic species for the production of bioethanol is now pursued in Italy and in many other countries, where the demand for high quality water resources, arable land, food and fossil fuels is rapidly growing. With an emerging “feed versus fuel debate” there is a pressing need to find options for the use of marginal lands and wastewaters or saline ground waters to produce second generation biofuel or bio paper crops. Arundo donax was selected as a potential crop for use in these areas, since it produces more cellulosic biomass and sequesters more contaminants, using less land and pesticides than any other alternative crops reported in the literature. The objective of this paper is to evaluate economically a simplified process for the production of second generation bioethanol from A. donax. Process calculations and economic analyses are performed using the software SuperPro Designer®.