Suitability of Crop Residues as Feedstock for Biofuel Production in South Africa: A Sustainable Win-Win Scenario
S. Barahira, Dominique
I. Okudoh, Vincent
C. Eloka-Eboka, Andrew
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Alternative sources of energy are required for easing the burdens associated with the use of fossil fuels especially for African nations. There are barriers associated with the use of advanced biofuels such as immature technology, availability of reliable feedstock data, policy instruments among others in many African countries. The present study is aimed towards providing reliable feedstock generation data from 21 major crops produced in South Africa. By mining existing data on crop production and area harvested in literature, a technique called residue to product ratio (RPR) was used to generate data on the available feedstock for bioenergy production. Results showed that there is huge amount of available crop biomass (estimated at 13.5 Mt) in South Africa which can be tapped to produce biofuels. Cropped biomass from grains, oilseeds and deciduous fruits are estimated to produce 7 million tons of bio-oil via fast pyrolysis route or about 2 tons of bio-ethanol via biochemical route. The bulk of cropped biomass are estimated to contribute to a realization of the renewable energy target in South Africa by 2050. This study will assist government policy makers, waste managers, researchers as well as potential investors to make informed decision on biofuel generation in South Africa.