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Sugarcane bagasse valorization to xylitol: techno-economic and life cycle assessment

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-01-26, 15:16 authored by Arun Shaji, Yogendra Shastri, Vinod Kumar, Vivek RanadeVivek Ranade, Neil Hindle

A detailed techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment (LCA) of a novel bio-refinery that produces xylitol from sugarcane bagasse are provided. The proposed process includes dilute acid pretreatment in pressurized conditions followed by fermentation (upstream section). The fermentation broth is then sent for separation and purification to the downstream section. Calculations are performed for a plant with 4 t/h of dry bagasse throughput. With a fermentation yield of 0.54 g xylitol per g of xylose, the plant produced 437.4 kg/h of xylitol. Upstream data are adapted from experimental studies, while ASPEN PLUS® flowsheet simulation is used to obtain data for the downstream section. The xylitol production facility is assumed to be annexed to an existing sugar mill in India. The total utility requirement in the process is reduced using heat integration strategies. Cradle-to-gate scope is considered for the LCA and 1 kg of xylitol is taken as the functional unit. The product cost of xylitol is calculated to be 230 INR/kg (US$3.17/kg). For a 4 year payback period, the selling price of xylitol must be 450 INR/kg (US$6.2/kg). The fermentation and pretreatment sections are the major components of the product cost. The LCA results show that the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions are 2.759 kg CO2 eq. per kg xylitol. The electricity requirement within the plant is identified as the major source of greenhouse gas emissions, and reduction of fermentation duration is identified as a key factor. The results identify opportunities to improve the process from an economic as well as an environmental standpoint



Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining (Biofpr), 16, pp.1214-1226


Wiley and Sons Ltd

Other Funding information

This work has been funded by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, grant number BT/IN/Indo-UK/SVP/08/2018-2019, through the Newton-UK-India Industrial Biotechnology initiative


This is the peer reviewed author version of the following article:Sugarcane bagasse valorization to xylitol: techno-economic and life cycle assessment, Biofuels, Bioprod. Bioref,16: 1214-1226which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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