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Abstract

The amount of energy and food consumed in Puerto Rico is more indicative of a developed nation than one than is underdeveloped. All the energy consumed in Puerto Rico is from fossil fuels, while the agricultural sector marginally provides the needs of the consumer. In addition, the animal production sectors rely exclusively on imported feedstock for the preparation of feeds. There is a potential to develop an ethanol industry based initially on sugarcane, as the main feedstock and then turn to biomass from energy cane and or organic solid waste in the future. In order to move to the second generation of ethanol production, the cellulosic ethanol industry has to become economically viable. A limiting factor in the use of sugarcane is that only 40,000 ha are currently available to grow this crop. Potentially, Puerto Rico can produce 200 million liters of ethanol on this area which could substitute 5% of the gasoline that was consumed in 2007. On the other hand, biomass could be obtained from bagasse, energy cane, and from 1.3 metric tons of organic solid waste (food and yard waste) produced annually on the island. This strategy can provide a relief to decreasing the amounts of organic solid waste that end up in the landfills.

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