Sugarcane Bioethanol Processing Plant in the Philippines: Energetics and Water Inventory

  • Journal of Environmental Science and Management
  • Rex Demafelis Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology, University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), College, Laguna, Philippines, 4031
  • Antonio Alcantara
  • Jovita Movillon
  • Maria Victoria Espaldon
  • Enrique Pacardo
  • Maxima Flavier
  • Bernadette Magadia
  • Anna Elaine Matanguihan
Keywords: energetics, energy, water inventory, water consumption, requirement, bioethanol, sugarcane, Philippines


Biofuels production is intended to address shortage on fuel supply. This study assessed the energetics and water inventory of the Philippine bioethanol production from sugarcane, aiming to provide a definitive value from where studies for economic assessment for this system could pick up. A 30-million-liter-per-year (MLPY) processing facility was designed using local field and factory data, from surveys and immersion reports. Assessment showed that sugarcane bioethanol processing facility with co-generation and wastewater treatment units gains a net energy equivalent to 18.62 MJ L-1 of bioethanol produced, with an energy returned on energy invested ratio of 2.75. The net energy realized from the production compensates the energy expended during the construction of the bioethanol plant within about eight months of operation. Water is being used up at a rate of 2,832.22 L per L of ethanol produced or 133.60 L per MJ or 197,826.09 L per Mg of cane processed, accounting the water used for plantation and the factory. The water inventory in the construction level amounts to 952.64 ML. It is concluded that the production of bioethanol from sugarcane is practical, energy-wise, but its water consumption might make the industry unviable in locations where water is scarce.