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Life cycle assessment of nanocellulose production from sugarcane bagasse

Grant number: 21/11907-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2021
Effective date (End): November 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Process Industries
Principal Investigator:Valdeir Arantes
Grantee:Vitória Tamie Obara Fernandes
Host Institution: Escola de Engenharia de Lorena (EEL). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Lorena , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/02862-5 - NANOCEL - development of enzyme mixtures for the preparation of nanocelluloses by a biohibrid process, AP.BIOEN.JP


Sugarcane has a fundamental role in Brazil's economy, from which it is possible to obtain sugar, alcohol, and bagasse, which is generally used in the generation of electricity. However, as it is rich in cellulose, it is an extremely attractive material for the production of nanocellulose. Nanocelluloses are biomaterials with enormous potential for application and have been the object of research by universities, industries, and the government. Therefore, it is important to study the environmental performance of this technology, which is still under development, and it is interesting to assess the environmental performance with an ecodesign in mind. One way to study it is through the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), an environmental management tool that assesses the environmental impacts at each stage of a process. In this work, LCA will be applied to obtain cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) from sugarcane bagasse by the enzymatic route and compared with the most common route (acid hydrolysis). The procedures followed are described by ISO 14040 standards and ILCD manuals. The study frontier is from the cradle to the gate, that is, impacts from the planting of sugarcane to the impacts inside the Nanobiotech laboratory, where CNC is processed, will be evaluated. To accomplish the project, OpenLCA software will be used and the LCIA methodology chosen was Recipe Midpoint. In the second year of the research, it is proposed to accomplish a prospective LCA (ex-ante), which will allow the assessment of the environmental impacts of an industrial installation. The request for a research grant abroad (BEPE) is also foreseen, so part of the project can be accomplished in an important research center in the LCA area, which will add to the candidate's training and the proposed project. Based on the results of this study, it will be possible to improve CNC processing, ensuring better environmental performance and contributing to the development of this emerging technology, which has potential growth in our country.(AU)

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