Green Power Conferences has announced its program for the upcoming World Biofuels Markets Brazil conference that will be held in São Paulo between September 18th and 20th.
Highlights include keynote addresses from leading Brazilian green pioneers: Bernardo Gradin, Pedro Moura Costa and Ozires Silva. There will also be a large-scale “Presidents Panel” where the CEO’s and Presidents of some of Brazil’s major biofuel producers debate the future of their industry and where they see major sources of revenue from improving technological advancements.
Nadim Chaudhry, CEO of Green Power Conferences, said, “Brazil is now one of the major global markets for every serious player in renewable energy. It has one of the most established first generation biofuel sectors in the world and has recently experienced massive investment in the development of second generation technologies. We expect Brazil to lead the way in cellulosic ethanol production and the burgeoning bio-based chemicals and plastics sectors. It is crucial for us as a business to continue to invest in the country and play a role in developing the industry.”
Graal Bio, a newly formed company of the Gradin Family’s Graal Investments vehicle, last year announced that they were building Brazil’s first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant. Total, BP, Shell and state-owned energy giant Petrobras are all actively investing in cellulosic ethanol production in Brazil, hoping to take advantage of new technologies that both improve the collection of sugar cane biomass and increase the efficiency of the processes that eventually turn that biomass into energy.
This increase in investment means more competition for the biomass harvest. Not only can sugar be turned into ethanol but the bagasse by-product of that process can then be used, through cellulosic enzyme processes, to produce further ethanol or be burned in cogeneration furnaces to produce steam and electricity which can then be sold on to the national grid.
Brazil still has major challenges to overcome before the potential of its bioenergy sector can be fully realized. Cellulosic production has still not been successfully scaled to real commercial levels, and the country’s sugar harvest will be increasingly negatively affected unless the issue of rootstock replacement is addressed. However, despite these challenges, the potential of the country to produce bioenergy remains almost unequalled anywhere else in the world and so domestic and international investment continues to flood into the sector.
Whether Brazil strikes bio-gold, only time will tell. What is certain though, is that if you are a bioenergy prospector, Brazil remains the destination towards which you should point your wagons. The days of alchemy are over and the first major seam has been uncovered.