Life cycle environmental benefits of recycling waste liquor and chemicals in production of lignocellulosic bioethanol

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations
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  • Haochen Du
  • Luyao Xu
  • Cuiyi Liang
  • Yu Zhang
  • Zhigang Sun
  • Wen Wang
  • Wei Qi

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Article number129855
Journal / PublicationBioresource Technology
Online published17 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


In recent decades, numerous bioconversion processes and techniques have been developed to utilize lignocellulosic biomass as feedstock in the production of bio-based fuels and materials. However, waste treatment, an important sub-system, is seldom considered in the life cycle assessment of lignocellulose derived products. This study comprehensively investigated the environmental impacts of bioethanol and electricity cogeneration from sugarcane bagasse, with a focus on recycling techniques adopted in waste treatment. A life cycle assessment indicated that high recycle rate of black liquor, acid and waste washing water can substantially reduce the consumption of fresh water, related chemicals and energy by 70–80%. Environmental impacts relating to global warming, acidification potential and primary energy demand can be decreased by 5–10 times or even entirely eliminated. These study outcomes demonstrate significant environmental benefits of integrating waste recycling techniques into lignocellulose biorefinery process, providing a solid foundation for future industrial development. © 2023 Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Biorefinery, Environmental impact, Lignocellulose, Recycling technique, Waste treatment