Prospects for the development of sugarcane biorefineries

O'Hara, Ian M., Zhang, Zhanying, Rackemann, Darryn W., Dunn, Kameron G., Hobson, Philip A., & Doherty, William O.S. (2013) Prospects for the development of sugarcane biorefineries. In Hogarth, D.M. (Ed.) Proceedings of the 28th International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Conference, Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Sugarcane biorefineries co-producing fuels, green chemicals and bio-products offer great potential for improving the profitability and sustainability of sugarcane industries around the world. Sugarcane bagasse is widely regarded as one of the best biomass feedstocks for early adoption and commercialisation of biorefining technologies because of the large scale of the resource and its availability at sugar factories.

Biomass biorefineries aim to convert bagasse through biochemical and thermochemical processes to produce low cost fermentable sugars which are a platform for value-adding. Through subsequent fermentation technologies or chemical synthesis, the sugars can be converted to fuels including ethanol and butanol, oils, organic acids such as succinic and levulinic and polymer precursors. Other biorefinery products can include food and animal feeds, plastics, fibre products and resins.

Recent advances in biorefinery production technologies are being demonstrated in a unique research facility at the Queensland University of Technology’s Mackay Renewable Biocommodities Pilot Plant in Mackay, Australia. This pilot scale production facility located at Mackay Sugar Ltd’s Racecourse Mill is demonstrating the production of a range of fuels and other products from sugarcane bagasse. This paper will address the opportunities available for sugarcane biorefineries to contribute to future profitability and sustainability of the sugarcane industry.

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ID Code: 70882
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Bagasse, Biorefinery, Biofuels, Green Chemicals, Pilot Plant
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > CHEMICAL SCIENCE (030000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CHEMICAL ENGINEERING (090400)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 02 May 2014 02:07
Last Modified: 26 May 2014 08:19

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