UNICA’s ‘Ethanol the Complete Fuel’ Is Back

The Brazilian Sugarcane Industries Association (UNICA) has launched is next phase of its advertising campaign, “Ethanol the Complete Fuel“. The multimedia campaign will primarily run in the state of São Paulo, the ads are designed to reinforce the positive impacts of ethanol on the economy and environment. The communication strategy consists of a 30 second TV commercial, sponsorship of television and radio programs, a striking jingle, online actions and presence in social networks.

“With the resumption of the campaign we want to remind consumers the advantages and benefits of biofuel. Ethanol generates environmental, social gains and promotes economic growth significantly in over a thousand Brazilian municipalities, “said Elizabeth Farina, UNICA president.

When first released in November 2012, the campaign leveraged ethanol sales in the state of São Paulo. In one month of placement sales increased 10%. Last year, the advertising action also aired three other states: Paraná, Goiás and Minas Gerais.

“Right now, the price of ethanol is more advantageous than gasoline for the consumer, ie the 70% parity has already been achieved in some states, yet the demand for the product did not react as expected. This reinforces our diagnosis that direct contact with the public should be constant, “said Farina.

Brazil’s GranBio Begins Producing Cellulosic Ethanol

GranBio has begun producing cellulosic ethanol at its first commercial-scale plant for second-generation (2G) ethanol in Brazil. The Bioflex 1 unit located in São Miguel dos Campos, Alagoas, has an initial production capacity of 82 million liters of ethanol per year.

According to GranBio, its 2G ethanol is the cleanest fuel produced on a commercial scale in the world in carbon intensity – 7.55 gCO2/MJ, as confirmed by theGranBio 2G cellulosic ethanol plant in Brazil California Air Resources Board (CARB). The calculation takes into account factors starting with the harvest of the raw material, through inputs and energy consumption, transportation and distribution through a port in California.

“When we announced the construction of the plant in Alagoas, in mid-2012, we took the risk of an innovator and pioneer in a project with transformative potential for the biofuels and biochemicals industries,” said GranBio’s president, Bernardo Gradin. “Beyond the inauguration of a plant, this project is proof that Brazil can lead the global biotech industry based on its agricultural potential.”

GranBio cites its 2G ethanol makes it possible to increase Brazilian production capacity per acre by 50 percent using agricultural waste – straw and bagasse, without need of expanding the cane fields. The company developed a system to harvest, store and process 400,000 metric tons of straw per year for Bioflex 1, which places it among the world’s largest and most competitive. GranBio’s facility uses the PROESA pre-treatment technology from the Italian company BetaRenewables enzymes from Novozymes in Denmark and yeast from DSM in Holland.

In addition, GranBio and Caeté created a partnership for the integrated production of steam and electricity. Installed next to Bioflex 1, the cogeneration system is fed by sugarcane bagasse and lignin – a byproduct of producing second-generation ethanol. The boiler of the cogeneration system will remain in operation for eleven months of the year, or eight thousand hours, in the harvest and inter-harvest period at the Caeté plant. As such, beyond meeting the needs of the two plants, the boiler will generate excess electricity on order of 135,000 MWh/year – enough to power a city of 300,000 inhabitants – which will be sold and become a source of revenue for the companies.

DuPont Sees Cellulosic Ethanol as Good for Brazil

World Bio Markets Brasil Conference is taking place in Sao Paulo this week and Jan Koninckx, director of DuPont Industrial Biosciences biofuels business, told attendees about the company’s offering and vision for the growth of the cellulosic ethanol market in Brazil. World Bio Markets BrasilThe company is in the final stages of building a cellulosic ethanol refinery in Nevada, Iowa co-located next to Lincolnway Energy with plans to be in full commercial-scale production by the end of the year.

“As global ethanol markets continue to grow, Brazil will need innovative solutions to meet the fuel demands of its growing population and of markets abroad from existing hectares of sugar cane,” said Koninckx. “DuPont Industrial Biosciences’ cellulosic ethanol technology makes good business sense in Brazil: abundant sugar cane provides a large quantity of convertible biomass at very competitive costs. Because our cellulosic ethanol technology can utilize the leftovers from sugar cane processing, DuPont can improve the productivity of first-generation ethanol mills and increase ethanol yield without growing more sugar cane. We are engaging with industry leaders to explore options to support the growth of renewable fuels in Brazil, including, as required, increase of our regional enzyme capacity.”

Koninckx continued, “DuPont developed our advanced biofuels technology through a network of scientists and assets in laboratories around the globe in Brazil, the United DuPont LogoStates, the European Union and Asia. We are currently finalizing what will be the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in Nevada, Iowa to demonstrate the company’s cellulosic ethanol technology package at industrial scale. While the feedstock at that plant will be corn stover, DuPont validated the same technology with bagasse– the fibrous matter leftover once the juice has been extracted from sugarcane – with our process yielding more than 310 liters per metric ton in our demonstration plant in Vonore, Tennessee.”

The company has a long history working in Brazil and on behalf of the DuPont, Koninckx said the company is excited for the future. The company has been in the country for nearly 80 years and currently has 2,500 employees, 12 manufacturing sites and 11 Research and Development locations. With this on-the-ground experience and their world-leading science, Koninckx said DuPont is uniquely positioned to help expand the Brazilian cellulosic ethanol industry and to develop the country and region’s growing bio-based economy.

Drought, Fires Hurting Sugarcane Harvest in Brazil

A severe drought has hit São Paulo, Brazil and has severely affected the production of sugarcane in the state. Estimates of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) show the lose around 15 percent or almost 40 million tons of sugarcane. Another factor in crop loss has been accidental fires due to the dry conditions. This comes at a time when the country is looking to increase its national ethanol mandate to 27 percent ethanol fuel blend.

The low rainfall seen throughout this year has increased outbreaks of fires not only in the areas of cultivation of sugarcane but also in areas planted with other crops, pastures and vegetation cover. Sugarcane plantsInformation collected by the Environmental Police and other state government agencies show that by the beginning of September had already been recorded 2,981 fire outbreaks and forest fires in São Paulo – that number is 140 percent higher than the same period of 2013.

Fires are often erroneously attributed to sugarcane producers due to the process of burning straw. However, UNICA points out that since 2007 the sector has been given the Green Protocol, established voluntarily by the state government of São Paulo to end burning.

“The productive sector has made a huge effort to accelerate the end of the use of fire and significantly exceeded expected to reduce the use of controlled burning in detrash of cane sugar schedule,” said Elizabeth Farina, UNICA president.

The drought has caused people to raise concern over raising the country’s ethanol mandate but no decision has yet been made to increase, decrease or keep the mandate in tact as is.

Summit Group Building Brazilian Corn Ethanol Plant

Alden, Iowa-based Summit Group announced a project to build the first modern corn ethanol plant in Brazil during the 2014 Farm Progress Show. The project will consist of a US$140 million ethanol plant near Lucas do Rio Verde in Mato Grosso, a leading agricultural state in west central Brazil and the country’s largest producer of corn and soybeans. The project is being financed by Summit Group’s private equity group U.S. Farmland Fund and the company partnering with Fiagril and will be developed by ethanol technology company ICM and built by agribusiness company Marino Franz.

Bruce Rastetter Summit GroupI asked Rastetter “Why Brazil” and he answered that outside of the U.S. they believe this country will play the biggest role in feeding the world. “One of the interesting parts in particular about Mato Grosso is because of improved genetics they’re able to double crop. So they are able to raise the first crop of soybeans and the second crop of corn or cotton so they have increasing corn production in the middle of the continent where it is difficult to get it out. So they are embracing value-added agriculture,” explained Rastetter.

So what is the difference between the early U.S. ethanol plants and the modern corn ethanol plant that will be based in Brail? Rastetter said they are partnering with Colwich,Kansas-based ICM and CEO Dave Vander Griend has been traveling to Brazil with Rastetter and his team for a few years. While the majority of the technology will be the same with an improvement on high protein low fiber DDGs (dried distillers grains) – a just patented process for livestock feed.

The ethanol will stay in Brazil since the Government in Brazil wants to increase the ethanol blend from 25 percent to 27 percent. I also asked him about the environmental footprint of growing corn in Brazil and Rastetter said the country is very sustainable and the farms they are purchasing from have a large percentage of trees, and if they don’t, they are planting trees.

To learn more about Summit Group’s corn ethanol plant in Brazil, listen to my interview with Bruce Rastetter: Interview with Bruce Rastetter

I also had the opportunity to speak with Eric Peterson who is the president of Summit Group who talked more specifically about the value-added opportunities the corn ethanol plant will provide the community of Mato Grosso. Peterson explained the area has difficulty getting corn exports out of the region and ethanol into the region. With the new ethanol plant, the corn will be purchased locally and the ethanol and DDGs produced will then stay local – overcoming the export/import barriers of the region. This has made the project and partners very accepted in the community.

Eric Peterson Summit GroupSince the technology will provide a different type of DDGs than used in the U.S. a part of the project and because Brazilians are very used to using soy meal, they will be able to complement the soy meal with a high protein product. In addition, with the high fiber feed product they are going to run feed trials with a University of Nebraska nutritionist to learn how to best utilize the co-product.

Peterson believes there is a great opportunity to create synergistic relationships between U.S. farmers and Brazilian farmers. “When we go there we are impressed with some of their technology and how they adapt to large scale agriculture and they are quickly adopting precision technologies that we have here in the U.S. and there is no better place for people to assimilate technology than in Brazil and so I think we can learn a lot from each other.”

The plant is to break ground the next six months and to be operational 16 months from groundbreaking which will occur before the rainy season in Feb/March and will produce 50 million gallons of ethanol per year.

To learn more about the agribusiness aspect of the Summit Group’s Brazilian ethanol plant by listening to my interview with Eric Peterson: Interview with Eric Peterson

View the Farm Progress 2014 Flicker photo album.

Boeing & Embraer Create Aviation Partnership

Boeing and Embraer S.A. have joined together to open a joint research center with the goal of advancing a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil. Under a memorandum of understanding, the two companies will perform joint biofuel research, as well as fund and coordinate research with Brazilian universities and other institutions. The research will focus on technologies that address gaps in a supply chain for sustainable aviation biofuel in Brazil, such as feedstock production and processing technologies. The companies’ biofuel research center will be located in Sao Jose dos Campos Technology Park.

“Boeing is working aggressively around the world to expand the supply of sustainable aviation biofuel and reduce aviation’s carbon emissions,” said Julie Felgar, managing director of Sao Jose dos Campos Technology ParkEnvironmental Strategy and Integration, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With our joint biofuel research center, Boeing and Embraer are making a strong commitment toward a successful, sustainable aviation biofuel industry in Brazil.”

In 2013, Boeing, Embraer and the Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa of the State of Sao Paulo (FAPESP) completed an action plan – Flightpath to Aviation Biofuels in Brazil – that identified gaps in a potential biofuel supply chain. The joint research between Boeing and Embraer will help address those gaps. This joint center is the next phase of execution of the plan.

Mauro Kern, Executive Vice President, Engineering and Technology, Embraer, said of the new center, “Embraer is committed in supporting the development of sustainable biofuels for aviation and the joint efforts with Boeing will undoubtedly contribute to the company continuing to be in the forefront of research in this area. Brazil has tradition in the area of alternative fuels and enormous potential yet to be explored in bioenergy research.”

When produced sustainably, aviation biofuel emits 50 to 80 percent lower carbon emissions through its lifecycle than petroleum jet fuel. Globally, more than 1,500 passenger flights using biofuel have been conducted since the fuel was approved for use in 2011.

Brazilian Mid-Level Ethanol Blends Beneficial

According to a recent report published in Nature Geoscience, when drivers in Sao Paulo switched from ethanol to pure gasoline, there was a 20 percent reduction in local ozone levels in urban areas. However, all gasoline in Brazil is blended with ethanol and upon further review, the report actually showed that using med-level ethanol blends (E25) ozone levels improved.

Steve Vander Griend, with Urban Air Initiative, explained how this is the case. Unlike in the United States, Brazil has two legal fuels: E25 (25 percent ethanol and 75 percent gasoline) and E100 (95 percent ethanol and 5 percent water), better known as hydrous ethanol. Nearly all vehicles sold in Brazil are flex fuel and can use any ethanol blend. Under Brazil’s model, drivers can “choose” their blend of ethanol from E25 up to E100 based on price.

Vander Griend explained that ozone emissions are highest with pure gasoline and also hydrous ethanol. However, emissions are reduced when you add ethanol to gasoline, aka a mid-level ethanol blend such as E15 or E30, blends sold in the U.S. This is why this study found that Brazil saw ozone emissions improve when drivers started using E25 instead of hydrous ethanol (E100). Therefore, said Vander Griend, the notable results of this study are that mid-level ethanol blends do in fact improve ozone emissions.

Sao Paulo gas stationWith 70 percent of Brazilian fuel being E25 during the time frame of this study, the study actually demonstrated Brazil has one of the cleanest burning fuels available, continued Vander Griend, and it also highlighted the value of mid-level ethanol blends.

So why are people being led to believe that ethanol is harmful to the environment? Vander Griend said because you can’t buy pure gasoline in Brazil, when authors refer to gasoline they are really referring to E25 making it appear that the authors studied pure gasoline versus ethanol and this is not the case. With reporters and others not digging into and understanding the study, they are ultimately mis-reporting the facts of the study, added Vander Griend.

The bottom line, said Vander Griend, is that mid-level blends of ethanol have been proven to decrease emissions, and if the U.S. is serious about taking the necessary steps to reduce harmful emissions, it is time that mid-level ethanol blends are offered to consumers.

“Not only will consumers benefit from the availability of a choice and savings at the pump, but when they choose the less expensive, homegrown fuel, they will also be decreasing harmful emissions that are detrimental to our children and future generations,” Vander Griend concluded.

UNICA Pleased With CARB Proposal

UNICAThe Brazilian sugarcane ethanol industry is pleased with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) proposal last week to revise Indirect Land Use Change (iLUC) numbers for biofuels.

Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association UNICA applauded CARB for “once again declaring that sugarcane ethanol is one of the most environmentally friendly biofuels supplying today’s market.”

UNICA North America Representative Leticia Phillips notes that the CARB staff proposal to revise ILUC estimates under the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard shows the Brazilian sugarcane biofuel generates about half the indirect emissions that CARB originally suggested during its rulemaking process in 2009. “If implemented, these revised ILUC estimates will confirm what numerous other studies have shown: sugarcane ethanol is one of the most environmentally friendly biofuels supplying today’s market,” she said in a statement.

Phillips adds that UNICA looks forward to providing detailed comments to this CARB proposal as they have done in the past.

PAISS Program to Help Brazilian Sugarcane Industry

Sugarcane_harvesting_equipment_Piracicaba_  Mariordo Mario Roberto Duran OrtizThe National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) and the Funding of Innovation and Research (FINEP) have announced a new program to encourage agricultural innovation for the Brazilian sugarcane industry. The goal of PAISS is to spur innovation and research that achieves gains in increasing productivity while lowering production costs. The PAISS complements the similar plan launched by BNDES and FINEP in 2011.

Enabling investments in agricultural innovation contributes to a renewal of the gains in productivity and to reductions in production costs. “It’s a step that can help us reach a new virtuous circle of investment to expand the production capacity of the sugarcane industry,” said Elizabeth Farina, the president of the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA).

Farina noted that 60 percent of the production costs of ethanol and sugar lies in agricultural production. “The agricultural costs are already high and are in the ascendant, unlike the costs of industrial processing of sugarcane, which has been the subject of research and investment that has resulted in lower costs,” Farina explained.

UNICA data show that during the boom years of the sugarcane industry, between 2002 and 2010, the cost of agricultural production amounted to U.S. $15 per tonne while today this cost has doubled to nearly U.S. $30 per tonne.

Farina noted that the industry has adopted new and advanced technologies with unique speed, as observed in the process of mechanization of the harvest. This is leading to the elimination of burning the cane fields. “But the fact is that in the effort to mechanize the industry literally changed processes without research by adapting existing technology used for manually harvesting sugarcane. Over five years, the industry has adapted to the sugarcane machines, not the machines to sugarcane. It will probably take another five years to find better answers,” added Farina.

Amyris Increases Biodiesel Buses in Brazil

Amyris, Inc. has announced that the city of São Paulo is now operating 400 city buses using Amyris Renewable Diesel, which is branded locally as Diesel de Cana. In other news, Amyris announced it has successfully produced its first fragrance oil for its partner Firmenich SA.

“From fuels to consumer care products, we continue to make progress on our commercialization of No Compromise renewable products that meet our customers’ needs,” said John Melo, President & CEO at Amyris. “We are not only building on our Biodiesel Bus in Brazilexisting fuels market opportunities but also expanding our portfolio of renewable products, as we have shown with our successful production of a fragrance oil, the third molecule we have taken from lab to industrial scale following artemisinin and farnesene.”

The announcement regarding the expanded use of Diesel de Cana took place with the São Paulo Public Transportation Authority (SPTrans) and its industry partners. The diesel blend is produced from locally-grown sugarcane using Amryis fermentation technology. In addition a trial will begin in 2014 to pilot the use of 100 percent Amyris Renewable Diesel in several city buses.

“We are pleased to increase our supply of Diesel de Cana in São Paulo, helping bring the city closer to its goal of 100% renewable fuels in public transport while reducing air pollution,” said Adilson Liebsch, commercial director at Amyris Brasil. “Our drop-in renewable fuel has been used commercially at blends of 10-30% for two years and logged over 30 million kilometers to date. Working with Mercedes-Benz, MAN and Volvo on a 100% Diesel de Cana trial, we will build greater confidence in our fuel’s quality and performance, paving the way to expand our commercial efforts in other metropolitan areas globally.”

The city of São Paulo has more than 15,000 buses consuming about 450 million liters (118 million gallons) of diesel per year. Amyris’s sugarcane-based diesel is helping the city meet its goal of reducing fossil fuel use in the public transit system. Under city law, São Paulo is working to reduce fossil diesel use by 10 percent every year through 2018.

Ethanol – The Complete Fuel Wins Awards

The Union of the Industry of Cane Sugar Association’s (UNICA) “Ethanol – The Complete Fuel” has won four awards including the Sponsor of the Year for 2013 during the 17th Annual Brazilian Association Rural Marketing and Agribusiness. The country-wide campaign was designed to educate consumers about the benefits of ethanol. The association has also called upon the government to assist with this educational campaign.

We want to recognize the effort made ​​by the entire sugarcane industry, who made this campaign a reality and achieved significant results. The campaign was spearheaded by UNICA with strong engagement with its affiliates, but had important additional support from several plants that are not our affiliates and entities that helped expand the reach of the campaign said UNICA President Elizabeth Farina. Three associations – the Alcopar, Paraná; the Sifaeg; and Siamig Goiás, Minas Gerais – invested its own funds in the campaign and rolled it out in their respective states.

In addition to receiving the award for the UNICA Advertiser of the Year for 2013 in agribusiness, Farina delivered a special tribute for ABMR & A to honor former Agriculture Minister Roberto Rodrigues. He was recognized for his leading role in building the movement Am Agro, which among other elements, conducted an advertising campaign in 2011 in favor of agribusiness, which had as protagonists actors Lima Duarte and Giovanna Antonelli. UNICA was the main supporter of the Movement am Agro.

The Borghi/Low , the agency that developed the campaign “Ethanol, Complete Fuel,” also received several achievements during the awards, including the Agency of the Year in agribusiness in 2013, for their work on behalf of UNICA and the Box Economica Federal, another client of the agency.

We want to give our appreciation for the efforts of all UNICA professionals, Borghi/Lowe and other service providers, which directly contributed to the success of the campaign. It was an intense job that lasted over a year and is now getting due recognition added Farina. And we can not forget the excellent work of Lúcio Mauro Filho, who is a true ally of ethanol.

UNICA Asks Gov’t to Educate Country About Ethanol

UNICABrazil’s sugar cane growers are asking for some help from that country’s government to educate the public about ethanol. Elizabeth Farina, the President of the Union of the Industry of Cane Sugar Association (UNICA), said the industry needs to overcome prejudices caused by inadequate public policies and interference in the fuel market that hurts ethanol’s competitiveness. To that end, the Parliamentary Front for the Enhancement of the Sugarcane Industry, was officially launched in the capitol city of Brasilia.

“It is very important that society knows that even with negative results in recent years and at the expense of a growing indebtedness and dangerous for the industry, companies have invested heavily in technology to improve performance, increase production and improve sustainability. Unfortunately, the good results on the production side are not translating into financial returns. The nominal average price paid by the ethanol plant is decreasing in the last three years, while the costs of structural and cyclical production has grown relentlessly,” says Farina.

Just last year, more than $4 billion was spent on sugarcane plantation renovations and expansions in Brazil’s South Central region, representing a significant investment in that area’s economy, in addition to the money spent on infrastructure to help the biofuels industry.

“All this does not take into account the increasing resources dedicated to the development of cellulosic ethanol or second generation. It is no coincidence that our companies today get between 7 and 8 thousand liters of ethanol per hectare, while the production of ethanol from corn in the United States, does not exceed 4000 liters per hectare,” stressed the president of UNICA.

UNICA also points out that Brazilian ethanol is recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an advanced biofuel.

Amyris Partners With GOL

Bioenergy company Amyris, Inc. and GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. (GOL) the largest low-cost and low-fare airline in Latin America, have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will pave the way for GOL commercial flights to use Amyris renewable jet fuel in 2014. The partnership was announced during the first commercial flight with a renewable jet fuel in Brazil by the airline.

“GOL is committed to making commercial aviation more efficient and sustainable. Our GOL airplaneexperimental flight with renewable jet fuel at the Rio+20 in 2012 was an important step to guide our work. Today, we advance one more step,” said Adalberto Bogsan, Vice President of GOL.

Under the MOU, GOL and Amyris will work together to establish a framework for bringing Amyris renewable jet fuel produced from Brazilian sugarcane to GOL’s commercial flights. However, for thid to happen, regulatory approvals and validation by standard-setting bodies, including ASTM International and Brazil’s Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANP) will need to occur.

The partnership, under of auspices of the Brazilian Biofuels Platform, an industry and government-supported initiative to encourage the use of renewable fuels in aviation, was announced at Brazilian Aviation Day celebration, which included participation of Brazil’s Secretary of Civil Aviation, Minister Moreira Franco, and a number of industry stakeholders including Brazilian Airlines Association (ABEAR), Brazilian Biodiesel and Biojet Association (UBRABIO), GE, and Boeing among others.

“GOL supports all initiatives to help make Brazilian aviation more sustainable,” says Paulo Kakinoff, President of GOL. During this past year, the airline’s fuel saving initiatives have helped it to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 30 thousand tons.

Lifecycle analysis indicates that the Amyris renewable jet fuel could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% or more when compared to convention fossil-derived jet fuel. Amyris has applied for certification under the Roundtable of Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) and is a member of Bonsucro, the world’s leading sugarcane sustainability standard.

“We are committed to working with the aviation industry to bring cleaner skies, starting in Brazil in 2014. Following two successful demonstration flights and a series of successful tests with multiple industry stakeholders, we look forward to receiving ASTM validation and ANP approval of our breakthrough renewable jet fuel produced from Brazilian sugarcane,” said John Melo, Amyris’s President & CEO.

Call for Brazil to Reinstate Fuel Tax Policy

The Brazilian Industry Sugarcane Association (UNICA) is calling for the return of the ICMS tax policy that creates incentives to use ethanol over gasoline. When the tax policy is in place, funds generated from the fuel tax are used to subsidize public transportation. UNICA notes that the policy is a way to generate positive economic, social, environmental and public health benefits. The Association’s recommendation came on the heels of a study conducted by the Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) on behalf of UNICA.

“We insisted that the recognition of so-called positive externalities of ethanol, through public policy and differentiated taxation, would be an important step towards returning to the competitiveness clean and renewable fuel to the base of cane sugar. The FGV study sugarcaneshows that it is possible to start down this path, with important benefits for society,” said Elizabeth Farina, the president of UNICA.

Until 2007, fossil fuels (gas) were taxed more heavily than renewable fuels (ethanol). Farina notes that reinstating this tax structure would also have significant environmental impacts, something that has not been considered as part of the benefits of the tax policy.

“We often hear very naturally that the calculation to be done in time to fuel the car is 70 percent, i.e. ethanol should not cost more than 70 percent of the price of gasoline. Except that this calculation does not take into account the severe environmental damage caused by the increase in the use of gasoline and reduction in the use of ethanol, especially in large cities,” said Farina.

A recent study released by the Health and Sustainability Institute points out that 4,655 people died due to poor air quality in the state capital in 2011 – a total more than three times the number of deaths in traffic accidents. Farina says that the damage goes beyond environmental issues. Currencies are wasted to import gasoline, as demand could be being fueled by ethanol, a industry employing more than a million Brazilians and benefits over a thousand municipalities throughout the country. Continue reading

Novozymes & Raízen Partner on Cellulosic Ethanol

Novozymes and Raízen Energia S/A, Brazil’s largest sugarcane crusher, have announced plans to collaborate on the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Brazil. Novozymes will be supplying enzyme technology for the plant, expected to begin production by the end of 2014.

Sugarcane in BrazilThe plant will be a bolt-on facility to Raízen’s Costa Pinto sugarcane mill in the state of São Paulo and will have the capacity to produce 40 million liters of cellulosic ethanol a year from sugarcane bagasse and straw. The agreement also provides for Novozymes to supply enzyme technology to Raízen’s second cellulosic ethanol plant, should such a plant be constructed.

To support Raízen in its efforts to advance cellulosic ethanol, Novozymes will develop enzyme technology optimized for Raízen’s process. In addition, Novozymes intends to establish new enzyme-manufacturing capacity in Brazil. The exact size, location and investment budget for this enzyme-manufacturing facility are not yet determined and will depend on the level of estimated demand for enzyme technology in Brazil.

“This first plant developed by one of the world’s largest sugarcane ethanol producers marks an important step in the commercialization of cellulosic ethanol in Brazil,” said Thomas Videbæk, Novozymes’ Executive Vice President of Business Development. “We look forward to sharing the journey with Raízen and enabling this exciting development for Brazil through the delivery of world-leading enzyme technology.”