Energy Demand in Sugarcane Residue Collection and Transportation
Keywords:material flow, mechanized harvest, bioenergy, biofuel
Sugarcane production system is in transition, mainly due to its harvesting process. Harvest through burning has been gradually replaced by mechanized processes, providing another by-product to be explored: sugarcane trash. In Brazil, through of the sugarcane trash, São Paulo state itself produces around 210.4 million BOE – barrel of oil equivalent (1,251,952 TJ ), which could supply consumers through cogeneration or for further second generation ethanol. For the sugarcane trash to be collected, mechanized processes are required, such as windrowing, gathering, and transporting. In agricultural production systems, embodied energy is affected by the mechanization level. In order to assess environmental performance by the energy point-of-view, analysis of energy flows provides subsidies for the decision makers. Thus, this study aimed to determine the material and energy flows for sugarcane trash collection and to identify its critical steps. The sugarcane variety grown was RB855113, spaced between rows 1.4 m, in the second cut, and yield of 108 Mg ha-1. The following mechanized operations were evaluated: windrowing, gathering, and transport, using material and energy flow as supporting tools. Regarding the energy balance, sugarcane trash collection system is feasible. Among evaluated operations, gathering is the one that presented higher energy demand. Fuel in harvesting is the main factor that affects energy demand for having sugarcane trash available.
Keywords: material flow, mechanized harvest, bioenergy, biofuel