Keywords: sugarcane residues, agricultural residues, SARs, cofiring, electricity generation, climate mitigation, Mauritius, green power, cogeneration plants, sugarcane bagasse, industrial ecology, emission reductions, biofuels
Utilisation of sugarcane agricultural residues: electricity production and climate mitigation
This paper deals with the potentials and opportunities of Sugarcane Agricultural Residues (SARs) for green power production in sugarcane-growing countries. It focuses on the possibilities of cofiring SARs with sugarcane bagasse, a similar physicochemical resource which is currently being commercially converted into electricity in state-of-the-art cogeneration plants. It also assesses the climate mitigation potentials of the resource through its eligibility for Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) as well as its socioeconomic benefits. A mix of 70% bagasse and 30% SARs was found to be the most appropriate cofiring option to avoid slagging in furnaces due to the inherent high ash content of SARs; this scenario required a 35% collection of SARs from sugarcane fields, which would increase the net export of surplus electricity in cogeneration plants by around 37% per tonne of cane harvested. SAR conversion into electricity is estimated to displace around 230 kg of subbituminous coal and 560 kg of CO2 per tonne. This feature can enable such a project to be eligible for CERs in line with bagasse cogeneration plants, which already qualify for these emission reductions.