Optimization of the Supply Chain Associated to the Production of Bioethanol from Residues of Agave from the Tequila Process in Mexico
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The Mexican economy is highly dependent on the tequila industry, where there are associated several residues of agave (i.e., the plant used to make tequila), which is lignocellulosic matter that can be used as feedstock for bioethanol production. The residues of agave are obtained in the harvesting sites located in several states of Mexico and from the tequila factories that are mainly located in two places in Mexico. This paper presents an optimization framework for designing a supply chain for the bioethanol production from residues of agave bagasse obtained in the tequila processing in Mexico, where central and distributed bioethanol processing plants are considered. The bioethanol production process in the central and distributed plants is modeled according to conversion factors for the different processing steps obtained from experimental data. The proposed optimization formulation also considers the total available agave and the bioethanol demand in Mexico. Several scenarios are analyzed for the bioethanol production from agave bagasse in Mexico, where positive results are obtained from the reuse of residues of agave bagasse for bioethanol production, obtaining considerable profits and satisfying a significant demand of the gasoline required in the area. 2014 American Chemical Society.