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Ingeniería e Investigación

Print version ISSN 0120-5609


LOMBARDI, Geraldo et al. A comparative study of GERIPA ethanol with other fuels. Ing. Investig. [online]. 2009, vol.29, n.2, pp.77-80. ISSN 0120-5609.

The GERIPA project aimed at generating renewable energy integrated with food production has led to a beneficial option for producing ethanol and electricity. Ethanol has economic, social and environmental potential. Considering just the first one, Brazil consumes 39 billion litres per year-LD/yr of diesel oil, 18% of it being imported. The Federal Government has a recovery programme for the soybean agribusiness aimed at soybean biodiesel (SBD) production in which a 10% addition to diesel has been proposed. This 10% involves producing 10.7 million LSBD/d. Soybean biodiesel production is not self-sustainable and such proposal could require an annual subsidy of up to US$1.33 billion. Soybean plantations would need about 10 to 12 times more land than is necessary for sugarcane plantations to produce the same equivalent thermal energy (ETE). Sixtyseven GERIPA projects (GP) producing 80,000 litres of ethanol per day (GP80) could be set up with the sum of US$1.33 billion; this would substitute current Brazilian biodiesel demand by 4.28%, adding the same value for each new subsidiary. Considering ETE, ethanol-GP cost would be 37% to 50% below that for a litre of SBD on account of its raw material (RM) and region. The diesel cycle's thermal efficiency (ηt) yield is around 50% and that of the Otto cycle engine ηt is around 37%. The cost per km driven (CKD) by substituting SBD for ethanol-GP80 would thus indicate an 18% minimum and 59% maximum cost reduction for vehicle engines.

Keywords : ethanol; biofuel; distillery.

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