Second-generation Ethanol in Rio+20

Last June, during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). Petrobras supplied fuel stations for the fi rst time with its second-generation ethanol. Th e fuel supplied the vehicles that transported participants of the event, held in Rio de Janeiro.

Th e technology allows the expansion of ethanol production by 40%, using sugarcane bagasse as raw material. Petrobras has already produced 80.000 liters of second-generation ethanol at a demonstration plant located in the United States. Th e project, conducted by the company's research center (Cenpes) since 2004 – in partnership with scientifi c institutions and technology companies – predicts a yield of 300 gallons of ethanol per ton of dry bagasse. One of the partners is KL Energy, owner of the unit that Petrobras researchers have adapted to test the technology. Petrobras plans to start production of second-generation ethanol on a commercial scale in Brazil in 2015. Th e unit should be integrated with an ethanol plant operated by subsidiary Petrobras Biocombustivel (Petrobras Biofuels). Th e investment in the development of this technology is included in the total of US$ 300 million that the company will apply to biofuels research in the coming years.

In August, Petrobras' second-generation ethanol technology received the Prêmio Brasil Ambiental 2012 (Brazil Environment Award 2012) In the category "Environmental Innovation". Th e award, sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce, recognizes environmental practices by companies operating in Brazil.

 

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