Brazil is a developing tropical country with abundant biomass resources. Sugar cane (Saccahrum spp.) is primarily produced to obtain sugar and alcohol. Presently sugar cane is burned before harvest. If the cane were not burned before harvest, the trash (tops and leaves) could be collected and burned to produce steam to generate electricity, or be converted into alcohol fuel and decrease the severe air pollution problems caused by sugar cane burning. Based upon logical assumptions and appropriate data, we estimate the number of people that could be served each year by this biomass if its energy was converted into electricity. From trash and bagasse, 7.0x10(6) and 5.5x10(6) people y-1 could be served, respectively.
sugar cane; biomass; energy