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Energy Conversion and Management 48 (2007) 29782987

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Analysis of process steam demand reduction and electricity


generation in sugar and ethanol production from sugarcane
Adriano V. Ensinas a, Silvia A. Nebra a, Miguel A. Lozano b, Luis M. Serra
a

b,*

Faculdade de Engenharia Mecanica, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Caixa Postal 6122, CEP 13083-970 Campinas-SP, Brazil
b
Departamento de Ingeniera Mecanica, Universidad de Zaragoza, C/ Maria de Luna, 3, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain
Available online 31 August 2007

Abstract
The sugarcane industry represents one of the most important economic activities in Brazil, producing sugar and ethanol for the internal and external markets. Moreover, thermal and electric energy is produced for self-consumption, using sugarcane bagasse as fuel in
cogeneration plants. Almost all the sugarcane plants in Brazil are self-sucient in terms of energy supply and in the last few years some
of them have been selling their surplus electricity for the grid. The reduction of process steam requirements and the use of more ecient
cogeneration systems are new alternatives to increase the surplus electricity generation. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the steam
demand reduction on sugar and ethanol process and alternatives for cogeneration systems in sugarcane plants, aiming at the surplus
electricity generation increase.
 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Sugar; Ethanol; Cogeneration; Biomass energy; Thermal integration

1. Introduction
Sugarcane production is one of the most important economical activities in Brazil, mainly due to its high eciency
and competitiveness. In this segment are found sugar factories, alcohol distilleries and integrated sugar and alcohol
plants that can produce both products from the sugarcane.
In the last few years electricity is becoming a new product
too, since sugarcane bagasse can be used as fuel in cogeneration systems.
Currently, there are more than 300 sugarcane plants in
operation in Brazil [1]. A total of 394.4 Mt of cane were
processed in the last harvest season (2005/2006) for sugar
and ethanol production [2].
Nowadays almost all sugarcane plants in Brazil are selfsucient in thermal, mechanical and electrical energy.
Generally low eciency cogeneration systems based on
steam cycle with live steam at 22 bar and 300 C are found
*

Corresponding author. Tel.: +34 976761913; fax: +34 976762670.


E-mail address: serra@unizar.es (L.M. Serra).

0196-8904/$ - see front matter  2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2007.06.038

in these plants [3]. Reduction of process steam requirements and more ecient cogeneration systems can increase
the surplus of electric power generated. Currently, cogeneration systems begin to operate with live steam generation
pressure higher than 60 bar [4] attending the plant energy
requirements and producing surplus electricity that can
be sold. The total electricity generation capacity installed
in the sugarcane plants using bagasse in Brazil is around
2300 MW [5].
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the steam
demand reduction on sugar and ethanol process and alternatives for the cogeneration systems in sugarcane plants,
aiming at the surplus electricity generation increase. A
base case, with high process steam demand was simulated. This case intends to represent the thermal energy
consumption of typical sugar and ethanol plants in Brazil.
A thermal integration procedure was implemented in an
improved case, reducing the steam demand reduction.
Dierent alternatives of cogeneration systems were simulated for both cases, considering steam cycles and biomass
gasication based cycles.

A.V. Ensinas et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 48 (2007) 29782987

2. Process description
In sugarcane segments in Brazil most of the plants produce sugar and ethanol in integrated plant. Some of them
use sugarcane juice for sugar production, being the molasses, a by-product of sugar process, used to produce ethanol
in annexes distilleries. The use of sugarcane juice for sugar
and ethanol production is very common too, reducing the
sugar production in order to produce more ethanol. Plants
which use half of the juice for sugar production and half
for ethanol production were considered in this paper.
Fig. 1 shows the sketch of the plant with the basic process
steps described below:
Sugarcane preparation and juice extraction: washing system is used to remove excessive amounts of soil, rocks
and trash delivered with the sugarcane before entering
the extraction system. After washed, sugarcane is prepared using rotating knives and shredders that reduce
the cane fed to the mill into small pieces suitable for
the subsequent extraction process. Juice extraction system separates the bagasse and the juice by compression
of the sugarcane. The bagasse is used as fuel at the
cogeneration system and the raw juice produced is delivered to the treatment system.
Juice treatment: some non-sugar impurities are separated by the addition of some chemical reactants as sulphur, lime, among others, being juice heating necessary
for the purication reactions. After that, the juice
passes through a ash tank, before entering the clarier. The precipitate formed into the clarier is separated from the claried juice and directed to lters.
After ltration, part of the juice returns to the process
ahead the clarier, and lter cake is rejected. The claried juice can be then directed to the evaporation system. Treatment of juice for ethanol and sugar
production can be very similar deferring on the sulphur
addition step, used exclusively for sugar production.
Juice evaporation: juice for sugar production is concentrated in a multiple-eect evaporator. Exhausted steam
from the cogeneration system is used as thermal energy

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source in the rst evaporation eect, separating part of


the water presented in the juice that is used as heating
source for the next evaporation eect. The system works
with decreasing pressure due to a vacuum imposed in
the last eect, producing the necessary dierence of temperature between each eect. Vapour bleed can be used
to attend heat requirements of other parts of the process, as the juice treatment heaters and sugar boiling system. Part of the juice for ethanol production is
concentrated in ve eects evaporation systems to reach
the concentration necessary for the fermentation process. The other part of the juice for ethanol is by-passed
to the fermentation process, to be mixed with concentrated juice and molasses for the mash preparation.
Sugar boiling, crystallization, centrifugal separation and
sugar drying: syrup is boiled in vacuum pans for crystal formation and then directed to crystallizers to complete crystal enlargement. After that, sugar crystals are separated
from molasses using centrifugals. Sugar dryer consumes
exhaust steam to reduce the moisture content of the sugar.
Fermentation: integrated sugar and ethanol plants use a
mixture of molasses and juice for mash preparation. Part
of juice is concentrated to reach optimum solid content
level necessary for the fermentation process. Good quality
water is also needed during the mash preparation and for
CO2 scrubber. Fermented liquor produced has around 8%
of ethanol concentration in mass basis and is directed to
the distillation system to be separated from the water.
Distillation: ethanol produced at the fermentation process is recovered by distillation. Before entering the rst
distillation column, fermented liquor is heated to reach
the adequate temperature for the distillation process.
Hydrous ethanol is obtained by stripping and rectication stages. In order to remove the remaining water
and obtain the anhydrous ethanol, dehydration process
is required. A large amount of stillage is produced and
must be handled as an euent with high biochemical
and chemical oxygen demand.
Condensates tank and water cooling system: the condensate tank receives all the condensates generated in the
process excluding the exhaust steam condensate which
returns to the cogeneration system. Separate tanks are
used for hot condensates storage, like those originated
with in the condensation of vapours from 1st, 2nd, 3rd
and 4th eects of evaporation, being used as imbibitions
water in the juice extraction system and washing water
in sugar and molasses centrifugal separation and in the
juice treatment lter. The water cooling system is composed by spray ponds that reduce condensate water temperature to be re-circulated in the process as cooling
water for fermentation, distillation, sugarcane washing
and vacuums systems.

3. Process integration in sugar and ethanol process

Fig. 1. Scheme of sugar and ethanol plant.

Process integration techniques or methods can be used


to improve energy recovery in sugar and ethanol process,

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A.V. Ensinas et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 48 (2007) 29782987

allowing the increase of electricity generation by the


cogeneration system. Some works are found in the literature indicating the best options for the process thermal
integration in sugar process. Many of them use the pinch
point method and apply an exergetic analysis of sugar factories. Guallar [6] made an exergetic analysis of a beet
sugar process with thermal integration. Christodoulou
[7] proposed a thermal integration of a sugar beet factory
using pinch technology to evaluate the use of six or seven
eects of evaporation with falling lm evaporator and
plate heat exchangers. Tekin and Bayramoglu [8] used
structural bond coecients to evaluate the inuence of
some operating system parameters on the beet sugar factory exergy loss. Increasing on steam power plant boiler
eciency and reduction of diusion and exhausted steam
temperature, were identied as important measures for
exergy loss minimization. Bayrak et al. [9] performed an
energy and exergy analysis of a sugar beet plant in Turkey, concluding that most of the irreversibility generation
occurs on the juice extraction system. A thermal integration of the process is recommended as an important measure of irreversibility reduction.
Other studies are applied to sugarcane factories. Ram
and Banerjee [10] evaluated two evaporation systems
designs using exergy analysis. Paz and Cardenas [11] studied improvements on sugarcane factories energy balance
using exergy analysis. Thermal integration of the factory
is proposed using vapour bleeding, juice heating with condensates, sugar boiling with vapour from the 2nd eect and
introduction of falling lm evaporators. Ensinas et al. [12]
present a thermoeconomic optimization procedure for the
design of evaporation systems and heaters network in cane
sugar factories. Thermal integration of the process was
obtained with minimum cost of operation and investments.
Rein [13] shows some opportunities to reduce the process steam demand to get the cane sugar factory into balance or to be able to generate a surplus of bagasse for
cogeneration or by-products opportunities. These are some
options presented:
Maximum evaporation in multiple eect evaporators,
not in the pans, increasing the solid content of the syrup
as high as possible.
Increase the number of evaporator eect.
Use of vapour 1, 2 or even 3 on the pan oor.
Minimize the amount of water used in pans and
centrifugals.
Use liquid/liquid heaters to do the rst stage of heating
of raw juice with condensate. This also serves the purpose of cooling down condensates for use as imbibition
on the mills.
Use of vapours for juice heating.
Increase the bleed vapour temperatures to gain more
from bleeding vapour.
Upadhiaya [14] presents some important measures to
increase electricity generation in cane sugar factories,

including, maximum utilization of vapour bleeding, use


of continuous sugar boiling pans, replacement of direct
drive steam turbines of mills by electric engines and
increase of live steam parameters and boiler eciency.
Little information is found in the literature about ethanol and integrated sugar and ethanol process. Modesto
et al. [15] made a exergetic cost analysis for sugarcane ethanol process and identied that the cogeneration system
generate more than 50% of the total irreversibility generated in the plant, being followed by the juice extraction system with more than 30% of the total.
The distillation system of ethanol process consumes a
large amount of process steam for its heating requirements.
Rein [13] and Seemann [16] show that thermal integration
of the columns with dual pressure distillation system can
be used to reduce steam demand. The dehydration step
used to produce anhydrous ethanol, normally operates
with azeotropic distillation with benzene or cyclohexane.
Dehydration with molecular sieves can be used to reduce
considerably steam requirements of this step.
4. Process simulation
A sugar and ethanol plant that operates 4000 h and
crushes 2,000,000 t of sugarcane during the harvest season
was simulated using the EES software [17]. Sugar and ethanol are produced, being half of the juice produced at the
extraction system used for sugar production and half for
ethanol production. Molasses obtained as a by-product
of the sugar process is used for ethanol production, being
mixed with the juice for ethanol in the mash preparation
step. The bagasse produced at the extraction system is used
as fuel at the cogeneration system.
4.1. Base case
A base case was simulated, representing the typical
sugar and ethanol process in Brazil. The plant is not thermally integrated and all the heating requirements are
attended using exhausted steam from the cogeneration system. Table 1 shows some parameters adopted for the simulation of the process and the cogeneration system. Some
of the process equipments are characterized below:
Extraction system with electried mills.
Juice heating at treatment system from 35.0 C to
105.0 C.
Evaporation systems with ve eects. Juice entering at
97.0 C in the rst eect and being concentrated from
13.4% to 65.0% of solid content.
Sugar boiling system with two-boiling scheme.
Fermented liquor heating from 30.0 C to 90.0 C.
Distillation scheme with stripping and rectifying columns at atmospheric pressure.
Dehydration system composed by azeotropic distillation
with cycle-hexane.

A.V. Ensinas et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 48 (2007) 29782987

consumption for the dehydration step, substituted the


azeotropic distillation system with cycle-hexane. The
specic steam consumption of these systems presented
by Rein [13] and Seemann [16] are 2.5 kg of steam/l ethanol for the stripping and rectifying columns and
0.05 kg of steam/l ethanol for the dehydration step (considering steam saturated at 2.5 bar of pressure).

Table 1
Parameters adopted for the process simulation base case
Parameters

Value

Sugarcane ber content (%)


Bagasse moisture content (%)
Sugarcane pol (%)
Raw juice purity (%)
Filter cake pol (%)
Filter cake moisture content (%)
Syrup solid content (%)
Fermented liquor ethanol concentration (%)a
Process steam pressure (bar)
Process steam temperature (C)
Mechanical power demand of cane preparation and juice
extraction (kWh/t of cane)
Electric power demand of the process (kWh/t cane)

14
50
14
86
3
70
65.0
7.6
2.5
127.4
16

12

Mass base.

The heating requirements of the process are described in


Table 2, which shows the exhausted steam consumed by
each part of the process.
4.2. Improved case
A thermal integration of the process was performed to
reduce process steam demand. Some measures were used
for this purpose:
Increase in the syrup solid content from 65.0% to 72.0%.
This reduces steam requirements for the sugar boiling
system and increase the amount of vapour available
for heating of other parts of the process.
Sugar boiling heat requirements is attended by vapour
generated in the 3rd eect of evaporation.
Heating of the treated juice with vapour bleed, to
increase its temperature close to the boiling point of
the 1st eect of evaporation. This can reduce the
requirements of exhausted steam in the evaporation
system.
Substitution of conventional distillation system by a
dual-pressure distillation system for the hydrated ethanol production. The re-boiler of the stripping column,
operating under vacuum, is used as the condenser of
the rectifying column, operating at atmospheric pressure. Moreover, molecular sieves, reducing the steam

Table 2
Exhausted steam consumption base case

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Thermoeconomic optimization procedure, presented by


Ensinas et al. [12] was used for equipments design. The program was implemented with EES software [17] aiming at
the best distribution for the vapour bleed from the evaporation system with a minimum cost of investment and operation in evaporators and heaters. More details of the
thermal integration implemented in this case can be found
in Ensinas et al. [18].
A new design of the evaporation system and the heaters
network was obtained promoting the use of hot condensates and vapour bleed as heating sources for other parts
of the process, reducing losses at the condensation system
in the last eect of evaporation. The heating steps of each
stream are described in Table 3.
The exhausted steam requirement for sugar and ethanol
process was reduced considerably. Table 4 shows its conTable 3
Description of heaters network stages for each stream
Stream

Heating
step

Raw juice for


sugar

1
2
3
4

Raw juice for


ethanol

Treated juice

Fermented
liquor

Tin
(C)

Tout
(C)

Hot
streams

Tin
(C)

Tout
(C)

35.0
78.5
85.4
97.3

78.5
85.4
97.3
105.0

Condensate
Vapour 4th
Vapour 3rd
Vapour
2nd

105.0
94.4
103.9
110.2

38.4
90.9
102.3
109.6

1
2
3
4

35.0
79.9
85.5
97.1

79.9
85.5
97.1
105.0

Stillage
Vapour 4th
Vapour 3rd
Vapour
2nd

100.0
94.4
103.9
110.2

40.5
90.9
102.3
109.6

97.0

104.6

110.2

109.6

104.6

112.0

Vapour
2nd
Vapour 1st

115.4

115.0

1
2
3

30.0
77.5
80.0

77.5
80.0
90.0

Mash
Vapour 4th
Vapour 3rd

95.1
94.4
103.9

36.9
90.9
102.3

Table 4
Exhausted steam consumption improved case

Stream

Exhausted steam demanda (kg/s)

Stream

Exhausted steam demand (kg/s)a

Raw juice heating for sugar process


Raw juice heating for ethanol process
Juice evaporation
Sugar boiling
Sugar drying
Fermented liquor heating
Distillation

9.8
9.8
16.3
10.5
0.1
8.4
20.2

Raw juice heating for sugar process


Raw juice heating for ethanol process
Juice evaporation
Sugar boiling
Sugar drying
Fermented liquor heating
Distillation

23.7

0.1

14.8

Saturated steam at 2.5 bar of pressure.

Saturated at 2.5 bar of pressure.

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A.V. Ensinas et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 48 (2007) 29782987

Table 5
Process steam demand
Steam demanda (kg steam/t cane)
Base case
Improved case
a

540
278

Saturated steam at 2.5 bar of pressure.

sumption for each part process in the improved case. The


specic exhausted steam consumption for base and
improved case can be observed in Table 5.
5. Cogeneration systems
Four congurations of cogeneration systems were chosen for the analysis of dierent alternatives that could be
applied on sugarcane plants. Thermal and electrical energy
requirements of the process must be supplied by this system
and surplus electricity generated is considered available for
sale to the grid. The simulations were performed using EES
software [17] assuming electricity generation just during the
harvest season, when the sugar production process is in
operation.
Table 6 shows the general parameters adopted for all the
congurations here proposed.
Conguration I: The rst conguration analyzed is a
steam cycle with back-pressure steam turbine (Fig. 2).
In this case the sugar process determines the quantity
of steam that can be produced by the boiler, since there
is not a condensation system. This cogeneration system
is the most common in the Brazilian sugarcane segment,
being able to operate just during the crushing season
when the process is in operation.
Conguration II: The second conguration is a steam
cycle with extractioncondensation turbine (Fig. 3). In
this case the condenser oers higher exibility, being
possible to operate all around the year, in crushing
and non-crushing season. The condensation pressure
adopted was 0.085 bar.
Conguration III: The third conguration analyzed is
based on biomass gasication. Bagasse dryer, gasier
and gas cleaning system compose the gasication sys-

Table 6
General parameters adopted for cogeneration systems
Parameter

Value

Atmospheric air temperature (C)


Atmospheric air pressure (bar)
Bagasse LHV (kJ/kg bagasse)a
Boiler thermal eciency (%)b
Steam turbines isentropic eciency (%)
Pump isentropic eciency (%)
Electric generator eciency (%)
Mill electric engines eciency (%)

25
1.013
7542
85
80
80
96
96

a
b

Wet base.
LHV base.

Fig. 2. Sketch of conguration I.

Fig. 3. Sketch of conguration II.

tem, which produces the gas that is used as fuel in a


gas turbine (Fig. 4). The gas is compressed to achieve
the same pressure of compressed air at combustion
chamber inlet. Exhaust gases from the gas turbine are
used for steam generation in a HRSG operating at
2.5 bar of pressure. Bagasse dryer heating demand is
attended by exhausted gases from the HRSG with
200 C of inlet temperature as recommended by Consonni and Larson [19].
Conguration IV: The fourth conguration analyzed is a
combined cycle with biomass gasication (BIG-CC),
which, as the previously considered conguration, is

A.V. Ensinas et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 48 (2007) 29782987

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Table 7
Parameters adopted for congurations III and IV
Parameter

Value
a

Gas production (kg/kg dry bagasse)


Electricity consumption of bagasse dryer (kJ/kg of dry bagasse)b
Pressure ratio
Combustor outlet temperature (C)
Gas turbine isentropic eciency (%)
Gas compressor isentropic eciency (%)
Air compressor isentropic eciency (%)
HRSG pinch point temperature (C)
HRSG approach temperature (C)
a
b

2.3
35
11
1050
85
85
85
10
5

Ref. [19].
Biomass is dried from 50% to 15% of moisture content [21].

for steam generation in a HRSG operating at one pressure level. High moisture content of available bagasse at
sugar process makes dryer system necessary for the gasication process, what makes the use of two pressure
levels at the HRSG not justiable [20]. An extraction
condensation steam turbine operates with steam generated by the HRSG, having an extraction at 2.5 bar for
the process (Fig 5).

Fig. 4. Sketch of conguration III.

The electricity is produced by gas and steam turbines


and consumed by pumps, dryer, compressors, and sugar
and ethanol process. Table 7 shows the parameters adopted
for the simulation of congurations III and IV.
The gas composition, assumed for combustion simulation at the gas turbine was presented by Consonni and Larson [22] and it is based on a near-atmospheric gasier
technology operating at 1.3 bar of pressure. The gasier
consumes biomass at 15% of moisture content and generates a syngas that after cleaning system presents the composition shown in Table 8.
For congurations I, II and IV, three levels of live steam
pressure and temperature were considered to evaluate its
inuence on electricity generation (see Table 9).
Table 8
Clean gas composition adopted for congurations III and IV
Clean syngas element

Fraction (% volume)

Air
CO
CO2
CH4
C2H4
H2
H2O
N2

0.5
21.7
11.4
2.9
1.0
16.3
3.2
43.0

Table 9
Parameters of live steam
Fig. 5. Sketch of conguration IV.

based on biomass gasication, producing the fuel for a


gas turbine. Exhaust gases from the gas turbine are used

L1
L2
L3

Pressure (bar)

Temperature (C)

60
80
100

480
510
540

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A.V. Ensinas et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 48 (2007) 29782987


Table 12
Electricity surplus for conguration II

6. Results
6.1. Conguration I

Surplus electricity production (kWh/t cane)

For the conguration I the following results presented in


Tables 10 and 11 were obtained.
As can be seen in Table 10, surplus bagasse between 4%
and 8% was calculated for the base case. Even increasing
live steam pressure and temperature, steam requirements
can be attended by available bagasse. New systems with
higher live steam parameters can increase surplus electricity
generation considerably, reaching 70 kWh/t of cane for the
highest live steam level as shown in Table 11.
For improved case, with lower process steam requirements, the steam produced by the cogeneration system is
limited by the process demand and as a consequence, the
surplus electricity decreases. A second consequence is that
the bagasse surplus reaches more than 50% of the total
bagasse produced. In this case the large quantity of surplus
bagasse may be used to provide steam for other by-products process or as feedstock for other activities. It could
be used, for example, for animal feed or as raw material
for pulp and paper and boards production [13]. Other
by-products could be also produced with bagasse as ethanol and chemicals, but is not yet a reality on large-scale
usage.
6.2. Conguration II
In this conguration all the available bagasse is consumed by the cogeneration system. The steam demand
reduction obtained in the improved case can increase more
than 30% the surplus electricity generation when compared
with base case (Table 12). Moreover, this conguration
permits the electricity generation on crushing and noncrushing season.
For the base case, conguration II showed to be not
interesting, since the power produced by the last stage of

Table 10
Bagasse surplus for conguration I
Bagasse surplus (%)

L1
L2
L3

Base case

Improved case

7.7
5.8
4.2

52.5
51.5
50.7

Table 11
Electricity surplus for conguration I
Surplus electricity production (kWh/t cane)

L1
L2
L3

Base case

Improved case

54.7
62.9
69.8

14.2
18.5
22.0

L1
L2
L3

Base case

Improved case

65.8
71.7
76.3

90.1
95.9
100.6

the steam turbine, responsible for steam expansion from


2.5 bar to condensation pressure, produces around 24%
of the total power, requiring for that, new equipments as
condensers and water cooling systems. Only for large units
this condensing turbine can represent an important amount
of power generation.
6.3. Conguration III
In this conguration 420 kg steam/t cane can be produced, being not able to attend base case steam demand.
Around 29% of additional bagasse would be available to
produce process steam requirements of the base case.
For the improved case, 34% of bagasse surplus is generated, producing 67.0 kWh/t cane in the gas turbine. If all
the bagasse were consumed, the surplus of electricity generation could reach 114.9 kWh/t of cane, only 14% more
than conguration II with live steam level L3. Thus, conguration III seems to be not feasible for electricity generation when compared with conguration II, which is a
commercial technology.
6.4. Conguration IV
The possible steam production that could be obtained
using available bagasse in conguration IV is presented
in Table 13. As it can be seen, the possible steam production is around than 332 kg steam/t cane for live steam pressure L1 and 302 kg steam/t cane for L3. This conguration,
as the previous one, can not provide the steam requirements for the base case, due to limitations of steam generation found in power cycles with biomass gasication. To
attend the base case steam demand, more than 60% of
additional bagasse would be necessary for the live steam
level L1 and almost 80% for L3.
On the other hand, for the improved case, the steam
requirements can be attended with this conguration, producing more than 170 kWh/t cane of surplus electricity as
shown on Table 14. This conguration showed to be able

Table 13
Possible steam production with available bagasse for conguration IV
Steam production (kg steam/t cane)
L1
L2
L3

332
316
302

A.V. Ensinas et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 48 (2007) 29782987


Table 14
Surplus electricity production for improved case with conguration IV

L1
L2
L3

Table 16
Performance parameters for improved case

Surplus electricity production (kWh/t cane)

Congurations

Improved case

EUF (LHV %)

171.2
172.0
172.2

PHR

to produce between 70% and 90% more surplus electricity


than conguration II, which also consumes all the available
bagasse. It is known that power cycle based on biomass
gasication is in a dierent stage of development than
steam based power cycle but when it reaches a commercial
scale the possibility of surplus electricity generation in
sugar and ethanol plants would be widely greater than with
steam cycles.
Other complementary fuels could be used to increase
energy input necessary for this conguration, being cane
trash one of the most interesting ones for sugarcane plants.
This residue is usually burnt at the harvest eld, but with
the reduction of this practice in the coming years, part of
it could be recovered and used as fuel at the cogeneration
system. Macedo et al. [3] estimates that a quantity of
125 kg trash/t cane could be collected and used for electricity generation.
The natural gas is another option too, since it could be
used for co-ring at the gas turbine together with the syngas [23].

2985

gex(%)

L1
L2
L3
L1
L2
L3
L1
L2
L3

II

III

IV

84.28
84.22
84.17
0.25
0.28
0.30
26.01
26.73
27.32

52.98
54.07
54.96
0.75
0.79
0.82
23.10
23.93
24.60

75.37
75.37
75.37
0.56
0.56
0.56
29.93
29.93
29.93

69.76
69.91
69.96
1.19
1.19
1.19
34.86
34.97
35.01

Energy fuel utilization


EFU

W e Qu
Ef

where We is the net electricity power output, Qu is the useful heat rate delivered to the process and Ef is the fuel energy consumed. The net electricity power (We) considers
the electricity generated by the steam and gas turbines, discounting the electricity consumed by pumps, compressors
and dryers where applicable. Ef considers the energy content of the consumed fuel.
Power-to-heat ratio
PHR

We
Qu

Exergetic eciency
6.5. Performance parameters assessment
Many performance parameters for cogeneration systems
are found in the literature but not all of them are considered relevant to a combined heat and power plant like
cogeneration systems of sugarcane plants, providing heat
for the process and surplus electricity to be sold to the grid.
Some of performance parameters presented by Horlock
[24] and Huang [25] have been calculated for the dierent
conguration analyzed in this paper (Eqs. (1)(3)). Tables
15 and 16 show the values calculated for base and
improved cases, respectively.

Table 15
Performance parameters for base case
Congurations

II

EUF (LHV %)

L1
L2
L3

84.28
84.22
84.17

77.11
78.22
79.10

PHR

L1
L2
L3

0.25
0.28
0.30

0.25
0.28
0.30

gex (%)

L1
L2
L3

26.01
26.73
27.32

25.35
26.17
26.85

gex

W e Bq
Bf

where Bq is the exergy of useful heat delivered to the process and Bf is the exergy of the consumed fuel. Exergies
of vapour and gases streams were calculated following
standard procedures [26]. The bagasse exergy was evaluated based on Sosa-Arnao and Nebra [27] procedure.
The energy utilization factor (EUF) considers the useful
heat (Qu) and the net electricity produced by the plant (We)
as products with equal weights. This criteria is considered
not satisfactory to compare the dierent congurations,
once electricity is dicult to produce and more valuable
than useful heat [24]. Power heat ratio and exergetic eciency are considered more useful to compare cogeneration
systems [24,25].
For the base case conguration I showed to be more
interesting for surplus electricity generation. It can consume great part of the bagasse produced by the process
and generates almost the same electricity than conguration II, with similar exergetic eciency.
Conguration III showed to be not interesting even for
improved case. Its PHR indicates the deciency of this conguration to produce electricity, being respectively 46%
and 213% lower than conguration II and IV for live steam
level L3.

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A.V. Ensinas et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 48 (2007) 29782987

The adoption of conguration IV together with the process steam demand reduction of improved case show the
advantage of combined cycle. This conguration presents
the highest exergetic eciency and PHR when compared
with other congurations.

and managers for available process data and FAPESP,


CAPES and CNPq for the nancial support to do this
study.

References
7. Conclusions
The analysis performed in this paper showed that the
process steam demand for sugar and ethanol plants can
be reduced signicantly with process thermal integration,
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For traditional steam cycles with back-pressure turbines
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sugarcane factories, which could take benets from the
mechanisms considered in Kyoto protocol, e.g. clean development mechanisms, international CO2 emissions trade
and so on.
Acknowledgements
The authors would like to acknowledge Usina Cruz
Alta, Guarani and Santa Isabel engineers, technicians

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