Why Sugarcane Bagasse is the Most Promising Pathway for Cellulosic Ethanol
by Robert Rapier (Biofuels Digest) …Because of the extra steps involved relative to corn or sugarcane ethanol, capital and operating costs are higher for cellulosic ethanol than for ethanol derived from carbohydrates. But the ongoing attraction of cellulosic ethanol is the potential to utilize waste streams that are cheap or even negatively priced to produce the ethanol. Therefore a number of companies continue to work toward commercialization.
I have long felt that the residue from the processing of sugarcane — bagasse — seems to be the lowest hanging fruit for the production of cellulosic ethanol (better even than municipal solid waste). There are residual sugars in the bagasse, and it is washed, pulverized, and already delivered to a factory. In fact, even after using some bagasse to power their plants, sugar plants struggle to dispose of excess bagasse. Thus, the economics of bagasse versus purpose-grown crops for cellulosic ethanol production should be significantly better. READ MORE and MORE (Advanced Biofuels USA)