Challenges and Prospects of Biogas from Energy Cane

In response to high oil prices in the past, Brazil’s total annual sugar cane production increased from 79.8 million tons in 1970 to 620 million tons in 2018-2019, and due to increased market demand, several new sugar cane plants were built from 2004 onwards, reaching 343 units in 2019.
The potential of biogas production from the production residues of the Brazilian sugar and alcohol industry (vinasse, filter cake, bagasse and straw) has already been demonstrated in several studies.

In the biogas production process, one of the technical challenges is the nutrient input of the plants, where several aspects, such as the organic loading rate and the production yield, are directly related to the feed source.

Since the sugar cane harvest is seasonal and the bioreactors need to be fed continuously, the storage of this substrate in silage form is essential. Therefore, it is necessary to study the viability of silage for this purpose.

This study investigated the silage process of sugar cane (conservation and determination of biogas potential) and demonstrated its viability in providing fuels for biogas production throughout the year.

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