Reference concepts on diversification and environmental sustainability indicators

Diversification alternatives from sugarcane

RAC: Renewable biomass that is available in the field after the sugarcane harvest process, composed of mainly green, dried leaves and buds. The production ratio is 0.25 tons of RAC per ton of sugarcane.

Briquettes /Pellets: solid blocks of biomass densified by mechanical and thermal action, in the form of cylinders of different dimensions, which are used as biofuels in domestic and industrial applications.

Biogas: product of the transformation of biodegradable organic matter, in conditions of absence of oxygen. The process of obtaining involves different types of microorganisms that transform complex organic molecules (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) into a product composed mainly of methane and carbon dioxide. Methane is a compound of high energy value. It can be used to generate electricity and be used as domestic and vehicular fuel (after treatment and quality improvement). It comes from biomass and, therefore, is considered as a renewable energy source.

Microbial polysaccharides: polymers of biological origin obtained from fermentation; They consist of several units of sugars (carbohydrates). They have application in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Sweetener: substance used to flavor a food or product. It is used as raw material for different food products such as: chewing gums, sweets, jellies, jellies, chocolates, ice cream, yogurt and other confectionery products.


Ecological footprint: basic concepts

Carbon footprint: It is the sum of the emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHG) of an activity, product, person, organization, etc., expressed as CO2 equivalent and that are based on an evaluation of the life cycle.

Greenhouse gas (GHG): A gaseous component of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorbs and emits infrared radiation. The radiation is emitted as heat. The GHG considered in the Kyoto protocol are: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

CO2 equivalent: unit to compare the radiation strength of a GHG with carbon dioxide. It is the expression of the mass of all GHGs in a single unit.

Life cycle analysis: compilation and evaluation of the entrances, exits and potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle.

Water footprint: It is an indicator of the use and consumption of water along the supply chain of a product, which represents the amount of fresh water required, both directly and indirectly, for its production and commercialization.