This chapter aims to explain how bio-ethanol has been drawn to become a successful alternative to partially replace petroleum as a source of liquid fuels in Brazil. A brief historical analysis about the production of bio-ethanol from sugarcane is presented. The motivation to start the production of the ethanol as biofuel in the 1970s and how the governmental policies have contributed to the ups and downs, successes, and failures of the sugarcane industry is shown. Then, the efficiency of the sector is addressed; firstly, the increasing efficiency of the agricultural sector is discussed, showing how the productivity per hectare has increased in the last decades and which improvements are further expected in a near future. Finally, the industrial process is discussed: the current efficiency in processing sugarcane to produce ethanol and the emerging technologies, not only to process sugarcane juice, but also to harness bagasse, vinasse, and sugarcane straw.
Part of the book: Fuel Ethanol Production from Sugarcane
Glycerol from biodiesel is a potential raw material for synthesis of several products with high added value. The world demand and the market value of these products are important information for defining the best investment for the implantation of a biorefinery. The information is available on websites of social associations, production companies and market consulting companies and can be mined, free of charge. The International Trade Center (ITC), with information on world trade and websites linked to the foreign trade agencies of every country, such as Comex Stat, in Brazil, are relevant search sources. In this context, this work presents procedures and search techniques for prospecting such information. Such a procedure is illustrated through a case study for which a search of market parameters for glycerol and its derivatives was carried out for use in the process design and economic evaluation of an industrial plant. It was found that crude glycerol had a market price close to US$ 170/ton, in 2019. Among its derivatives, acrylic acid, acrylonitrile and 1,3-propanediol have great potential for the development of new processes, within the scope of a biorefinery. Industrially, acrylic acid (US$ 1100/ton) and acrylonitrile (US$ 1500/ton) are produced from propene (US$ 880/ ton) and 1,3-propanediol (US $ 2000/ton) comes from glucose (US$ 460/t) or ethylene oxide (US$ 1200/t), which encourages the development of new sustainable processes.
Part of the book: Biotechnological Applications of Biomass
The accelerated use of Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) in Chemical and Process Engineering has drawn the attention of scientific and industrial communities, mainly due to the Big Data boom related to the analysis and interpretation of large data volumes required by Industry 4.0. ANNs are well-known nonlinear regression algorithms in the Machine Learning field for classification and prediction and are based on the human brain behavior, which learns tasks from experience through interconnected neurons. This empirical method can widely replace traditional complex phenomenological models based on nonlinear conservation equations, leading to a smaller computational effort – a very peculiar feature for its use in process optimization and control. Thereby, this chapter aims to exhibit several ANN modeling applications to different Chemical and Process Engineering areas, such as thermodynamics, kinetics and catalysis, process analysis and optimization, process safety and control, among others. This review study shows the increasing use of ANNs in the area, helping to understand and to explore process data aspects for future research.
Part of the book: Deep Learning Applications