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Assessment of Water Demand for Bioethanol Production from Biomass in China

20 pagesPublished: September 20, 2018


China is an energy starved country that has faced a severe energy crisis for the last few decades. In response to China’s increasing dependence on non-renewable fuels, the Chinese government has discussed current and potential biomass energy resources as well as energy conversion and promotion policies. Bioethanol production has proven to be environmentally friendly and energy-efficient and is a potentially important source of renewable fuels. However, the uneven distribution of water and the implementation of the Three Red Lines water conservation policies may limit the development of bioethanol in China. From the perspective of water footprint (WF), this paper analyzes the water requirements of producing bioethanol from crop straws, and shows that water consumption in the bioethanol conversion stage is less than that in the crop growth stage; in other words, producing bioethanol from crop straws may be more water-efficient than that from grains or non-grain crop because water that would be consumed for grain growth is already being allocated to the agricultural sector. There is an abundance of crop straws of approximately 150.71 million tons that can be used for bio-ethanol production in China; if converted, 41.83 billion L ethanol would be produced annually, and an amount equal to 4 times China’s fuel ethanol production in 2014. According to a crop straws and water resource conditions, the provinces of Jilin, Shandong, Henan and Sichuan are the best for developing bioethanol from crop straws however, variations in the local availability of water resources and crop straws prevent us from drawing immediate conclusions about which crop straws would be most suitable for bioethanol production in China.

Keyphrases: Bioethanol, Biomass energy, Crop straws, water footprint, water resources

In: Goffredo La Loggia, Gabriele Freni, Valeria Puleo and Mauro De Marchis (editors). HIC 2018. 13th International Conference on Hydroinformatics, vol 3, pages 975--994

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Shan Jiang and Lizhen Wang and Yong Zhao and Yizi Shang and Qingming Wang},
  title     = {Assessment of Water Demand for Bioethanol Production from Biomass in China},
  booktitle = {HIC 2018. 13th International Conference on Hydroinformatics},
  editor    = {Goffredo La Loggia and Gabriele Freni and Valeria Puleo and Mauro De Marchis},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Engineering},
  volume    = {3},
  pages     = {975--994},
  year      = {2018},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2516-2330},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/w285}}
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