Background: Cogeneration systems using biomass materials as woodships, agricultural and municipal solid waste, are well known and used in different places of the world. Today Brazilian sugarcane bagasse is an important energy source to these industries, most of them are self-sufficient in energy consumption and some generate energy surplus that is sold to the grid. There is a tendency forenlarging the electricity production at these industries and it is expected that in short to mid-term electricity produced from bagasse could become a product as important as ethanol or sugar.
Methods: This study provides an overview of scientific papers and patents regarding the current situation of biomass cogeneration in Brazil and future prospects, focusing on the use of advanced cogeneration systems with integrated gasification combined andsupercritical steam cycles.
Results: The results showed that much can still be done to improve the energetic efficiency at this sector. The current situation shows that although many companies are self-sufficient in terms of electricity just a few are able to sell electricity to the grid. There are many opportunities to better use the sugarcane bagasse and other biomass residues for energy production, from minor changes as improvements at the burning system to advanced power generation solutions. The minor changes can be accomplished with lower investment costs but with significant results for energy generation.
Conclusion: The use of advanced power generation solutions as biomass gasification and supercritical steam cycles, proved to be highly efficient in energy production, generating a great electricity surplus.