Economic Evaluation for Bioproducts Production from Carbohydrates Obtained from Hydrolysis of Sugarcane Bagasse
Jesus Junior, Maurino Magno
De Avila Rodrigues, Fabio
Moreira Da Costa, Marcelo
Guirardello, Reginaldo

How to Cite

Jesus Junior M.M., De Avila Rodrigues F., Moreira Da Costa M., Guirardello R., 2022, Economic Evaluation for Bioproducts Production from Carbohydrates Obtained from Hydrolysis of Sugarcane Bagasse, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 92, 703-708.


The growing worldwide demand for energy and chemicals has triggered a series of academic research papers related to the conversion of carbohydrates contained in lignocellulosic biomass to biofuels and value-added substances. One of the main compounds obtained from biomass is 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), which is formed by dehydration of hexoses in acid medium and used in the synthesis of biofuels and chemicals, such as 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid, 2,5-bishydroxymethylfuran, 2,5-dihydroxymethyl-tetrahydrofuran, formic acid, and levulinic acid. HMF production from a renewable source is a promising strategy for the development of biofuels and chemicals in biorefineries. However, industrial-scale production of HMF is still limited. Therefore, this study aimed to perform a simulation and assess the economic feasibility of unit operations for HMF, levulinic acid, and formic acid production in aqueous medium using sugarcane bagasse as feedstock. Simulations of three processing steps (sugarcane bagasse pretreatment, conversion of cellulose to HMF, and product separation) were performed using Aspen Plus software version 11 (Aspen Technology Inc., USA). Economic feasibility was analyzed using equipment cost data provided by Aspen Technology and the spreadsheet proposed by Peters et al. (2003). The economic parameters assessed were return on investment, payback period, and net return. For simulations, solids yield data for the pretreatment step were obtained experimentally, reaching 56.2% with hydrothermal pretreatment and 42% with alkaline pretreatment. Chemical composition analysis of the pretreated material showed a cellulose content of 93.6%. Economic analysis indicated that the process is not economically viable. Pretreatment and product separation were the most expensive steps, accounting respectively for 43.44% and 38.6% of the total costs for equipment and installation.