Clean energy from sugarcane bagasse: quality evaluation by neutron activation analysis
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The energy from sugarcane is one of the most important in Brazil’s energy matrix and the efficiency of extraction and processing is fully dependent on the quality of the raw material. The soil present in sugarcane was investigate here as a factor that can affect the production of energy. Chemical elements (Fe, Hf, Sc and Th) determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis were used for tracing soil in sugarcane and its derived bagasse. The lower calorific value (LCV) of bagasse demonstrated a good negative correlation (r = −0.9727) with the ash content of the bagasse, which in turn was positively correlated to the amount of soil in the sugarcane. Therefore, the presence of soil reduces the production of energy from burning bagasse. The proportion of loss in the LCV was just slightly higher than the soil content, i.e. for an soil content of 10 % a reduction of 12.7 % was observed in the LCV.
KeywordsCalorific value Shredded sugarcane Mineral impurity INAA Tracer elements method Ash method
The authors are thankful to São Martinho Group for the partnership, to Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares (IPEN) for the irradiation of samples, to Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for financial support and to people who participated in the sampling and analyses.
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