Prof. M.Shahidul Islam,
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Research area: Operations Research in Engineering for Achieving Economic and Environmental Sustainability
Title: Sugarcane Waste Biomass a Potential Renewable Energy Source in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals: An 2021 Update
This study has been conducted to reveal current global practices in using technologies to optimize renewable energy production from sugarcane waste biomass. The facts and figures disclosed in this paper are the outcomes of researches published between the years 2015 to 2020. Novelty of this work is to develop a model for energy related industries encompassing zero waste biomass for zero carbon emission, energy recovery by higher combustion efficiency, and energy production optimization for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially SDG-7(clean energy production) and SDG-13(climate action). In the 2019–2020 crop year, the world's total sugarcane area harvested was 26.2 million hectares and the harvested sugarcane was about 2.0 billion tons. It was reported that about 30% of the harvested sugarcane is bagasse and trash (SCBT). A major percentage of SCBT has been burned conventionally in the atmospheric air and thus it becomes a potential source of carbon emission (CO2eq). On the other hand, the reported renewable energy potential of SCBT is about 12MJ/kg. Traditionally, sugar industries have used SCBT for energy production, and its thermal efficiency is about 30 percent. Major sugarcane producing countries including Brazil, India, and China have used combined heat and power (CHP) technology for utilizing SCBT’s energy potential. The energy efficiency of CHP for SCBT is found to be over 80% (≥80%) with a total energy output 0.44 MWh/ton. The case studies published by international renewable energy agency (IRENA) demonstrated that SCBT’s renewable energy project is environmentally and economically feasible. It was reported that if fossil fuel is replaced by SCBT for energy production, it would contribute to reduce 621 kgCO2eq/MWh. The internal rate of return (IRR) on investment of the project is found to be 10% with a positive net present value (NPV). The information documented in this paper on SCBT’s energy potential, technology used and benefits in carbon emission mitigation could be used as a guideline for policy makers, government agencies and energy related industries for implementing small and economic scale renewable energy projects.