The ethanol industry has an undeniable importance in the Brazilian economy, particularly in the South-Central States. There is still a wide field of research in the study of the production system improvements. Furthermore, the introduction of new processes is being studied, such as the production of second generation ethanol, green plastic production, and other ones. This study aims the analysis and improvement of energy consumption in plants that produce sugar, ethanol and electricity, including the production of second generation ethanol. New processes will be tested in the traditional first generation plant, such as fermentation cooling, biogas production from vinasse, thermal integration of the juice evaporation plant and sugar crystallization with the processes of juice preparation, cooled fermentation and distillation. Particular attention will be given to the cogeneration plant in terms of the simulation of its operation and its integration with the energy production process. Different pretreatments will be tested in the production of second generation ethanol. The methodology used will be the simulation of the different processes through the implementation of energy and mass balances, based on literature data and field data obtained in plants and equipment manufacturers, as well as experimental data and proposals of processes improvement, obtained by other groups participating in the Thematic Project on which is inscribed the present application. As computational tool, the EMSO software will be used, which was developed by Brazilian researchers, the results will be validated by comparing them with those obtained with the software ASPEN PLUS. Particular emphasis will be given to the use of the concepts of energy integration and exergetic cost in the analysis of process improvement.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: