G1. Life Cycle Analysis of Biofuels Production Systems
Program for Engineering, Agricultural Sciences, Economics and other students
While many various educational centers throughout the USA are working to develop biofuels technologies and build demonstration farms and factories, only few are focused on advancing the environmental sustainability of biofuels production and processing. This thus gives an unique mandate to the Hendry County Sustainable Biofuels Center as a leader among programs of its kind in Florida and the nation.
Main objectives of the offered practical program are to research existing sugarcane farming systems typical of south Florida (and other production areas) and analyze sugarcane ethanol life cycle (LCA) from water, energy and carbon perspectives. "Traditional" and "alternative" sugarcane cultivation and ethanol conversion technologies have a range of environmental and economical implications that are not fully investigated yet. This practical program thus opens door to new, not very explored fields of scientific research and environmental sustainability approaches.
List of main tasks:
- Research existing biofuels (sugarcane) farming systems typical of south Florida and other production areas;
- Analyze sugarcane ethanol life cycle (LCA) from water, energy and carbon perspectives;
- Assess the impact of sugarcane biofuels production from initial production to final disposal;
- Compare various "traditional" and "alternative" sugarcane cultivation and ethanol conversion technologies;
- Quantify the different technologies pros and cons and document the findings in a comprehensive report;
- Suggest modifications to existing LCA methodology and procedures in order to improve decision-supporting tools in production of biofuels;
- Create new and maintain existing related websites.