This paper describes a preliminary analysis of two technological routes (based on hydrolysis and on gasification + Fischer–Tropsch conversion process) of biofuels production from cellulosic materials. In this paper it was considered the integration of the two alternative routes to a conventional distillery of ethanol production based on fermentation of sugarcane juice. Sugarcane bagasse is the biomass considered as input in both second-generation routes. Results show that the integration of gasification + FT process to a conventional distillery is slightly more efficient (from an energetic point of view) and also offers the advantage of products diversification (ethanol from the conventional plant, plus diesel, gasoline and more surplus electricity regarding the hydrolysis route). Considering typical Brazilian conditions, at this stage it is not possible to foresee any significant advantage of any of the alternatives, but potentially the gasification route would have an advantage regarding avoided GHG emissions depending on the emission factor of the electric sector in which cogeneration units will be installed.

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Arnaldo Walter
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