Polymers (Basel). 2023 Jan 5;15(2):274. doi: 10.3390/polym15020274.
Agroforestry wastes are industrial byproducts available locally such as eucalyptus sawdust (EUC) and sugarcane bagasse (SCB). These byproducts can be used as lignocellulosic raw materials to produce high-value products. This study is a techno-economic analysis of four potential scenarios to produce polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) and levulinic acid (LA) from hemicellulosic sugars by a fermentative pathway in a biomass waste biorefinery. Mass and energy balances were developed, and technical and economic assessments were carried out to obtain gas, char, and tar from residual solids from autohydrolysis treatment. It was determined that microbial culture could be an attractive option for added-value product production. More than 1500 t/year of PHB and 2600 t/year of LA could be obtained by the proposed pathways. Microbial and enzymatic conversion of LA from sugars could significantly improve energy consumption on the conversion strategy. The products from solid residual valorization (char and tar) are the most important for economic performance. Finally, a variation in specific variables could mean substantial improvements in the final indicators of the processes, reaching a higher NPV than USD 17 million.