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Techno-Economic-Environmental Analysis of Sophorolipid Biosurfactant Production from Sugarcane Bagasse

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-07-02, 13:37 authored by Andrew M. Elias, Andreza A. Longati, Harikishan R. Ellamla, Felipe F. Furlan, Marcelo P. A. Ribeiro, Paulo R. F. Marcelino, Júlio C. dos Santos, Silvio S. da Silva, Roberto C. Giordano
In a carbon-neutral economy, biorefineries may replace oil refineries, providing materials and molecules. One of these products are biosurfactants (BSs), which can be produced from sugarcane bagasse. Two different processes for BS production were proposed and evaluated from a technoeconomic environmental perspective. Global sensitivity and uncertainty analyses (GSA and UA) assessed the most influential variables and the uncertainties regarding the minimum BS selling price (MBSSP), together with several environmental metrics. Both processes presented positive economic performance. The analysis showed that the second scenario (using liquid hot water pretreatment without detoxification and BS recovery by two steps of ultrafiltration) presented superior economic and environmental performance. The second scenario had a 59.7% probability of having a MBSSP below 20 $/kg, against 47.1% for the first one. GSA showed that effort should be focused on decreasing uncertainty regarding the bioreactor performance and scaleup (for both scenarios) and the ultrafiltration performance (for the second scenario).

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