Brazil to build first algae-based biofuel plant

Jul 19, 2012
Workers harvest sugar cane in Brazil in 2008. The world's first industrial plant producing biofuels from seaweed will be built on a sugar cane plantation in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco in late 2013, the official in charge of the project said.

The world's first industrial plant producing biofuels from seaweed will be built in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco in late 2013, the official in charge of the project said Thursday.

The factory to be set up by Austrian firm SAT on a sugar cane plantation that yields ethanol, will produce 1.2 million liters of algae-based biofuels annually, Rafael Bianchini, head of SAT's Brazilian subsidiary, told AFP.

The $9.8 million facility will make use of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted in the ethanol production to speed up the process in the seaweeds and thus reduce emissions of polluting gases into the environment, he said.

Bianchini said the goal was to "convert the CO2 from a passive to an active" state, making use of the strong lost in the sugar cane ethanol production.

"For each ethanol liter produced, one kilogram of CO2 is released in the atmosphere. We are going to take this CO2 to feed our plant," he added.

Initially, the algae-based facility will use five percent of the emissions from the sugar cane ethanol process but later the proportion will be increased, Bianchini said.

The project has yet to be approved by Brazil's National Petroleum Agency.

Brazil is the world's second largest producer of biofuels after the United States.

Explore further: Next-generation nuclear reactors that use radioactive waste materials as fuel

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ethanol production said increasing erosion

Jul 06, 2005

Large-scale farming of sugar cane and corn for ethanol fuel is increasing erosion and reducing biodiversity, Washington State University researchers say.

Biofuels from the sea

Jul 04, 2011

Seaweed may prove a viable future biofuel – especially if harvested in summer.

Boeing, Embraer back sugar jet-fuel study

Jul 26, 2011

Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer and US rival Boeing said Tuesday they will co-finance research to determine the sustainability of using Brazilian sugarcane in jet fuel.

Recommended for you

Seoul to provide smartphone-charging down by the stream

1 hour ago

Seoul's mobile users will be able to make use of outdoor charging stations at a popular downtown stream, powered by mini-hydroelectric turbines that use the stream's current. The city is building the recharging ...

Tesla, Chinese firm plan 400 charging stations

3 hours ago

Tesla Motors Co. and a state-owned Chinese phone carrier announced plans Friday to build 400 charging stations for electric cars in a new bid to promote popular adoption of the technology in China.

Cool roofs in China can save energy and reduce emissions

23 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Working with Chinese researchers, the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has conducted the first comprehensive study of cool roofs in China and concluded ...

User comments : 0