Sugarcane ethanol may kill the gasoline star

BY JOSEPH CHANG FROM SAO PAOLO

First time at the UNICA (Brazilian sugarcane association) press tour, and it’s a whirlwind I tell ya! In over 12 years of reporting, I’ve never had such a packed schedule. From the moment we landed, we went straight to a press conference.

Check out some video clips from the Pedra Agroindustrial sugarcane processing and ethanol facility in Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo state in Brazil.

The plant tour – hot, humid and noisy. But you really get to see the nuts and bolts of the operation, and the ethanol end product. Bottoms up!

Plus we went into the field and saw how the sugarcane is harvested – 12-foot tall plants sucked into a tractor-like machine and spit out into the truck.

My first self-made videos here – folks be kind!

UNICA sees Brazilian ethanol production almost doubling by the 2015/2016 harvest year to 46.9m tonnes/year, mainly to fuel the domestic market. But it also aims for higher exports driven by climate change legislation in the EU.

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Plus, bioplastics from sugarcane is on the horizon. Pedra Agroindustrial plans to build the world’s first sugarcane-based bioplastics facility with a capacity of between 35,000-40,000 tonnes/year by 2012.

See the stories on ICIS news (subscription required):

EU renewable energy law to drive demand for ethanol contracts

Brazil Pedra to build sugarcane bioplastics plant by 2012

More photos and updates to come.

Happy Thanksgiving to you – all of Doris de Guzman’s ICIS Green Chemicals Blog readers!



One Response to Sugarcane ethanol may kill the gasoline star

  1. Doris de Guzman 16 April, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    Holy Guacamole! I didn’t realize how huge those sugarcane plants are! Thanks for the post Joe. I’ll start grilling you for more information next week = ) I hope you enjoyed the trip and have a great Thanksgiving!

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