Brazil world leader in sugarcane and ethanol knowledge and technology

Mini 018FAPESP – Brazil is the largest producer of ethanol from sugarcane in the world and occupies the leadership in technology for its production. The advances in technology have meant that its productivity is outstanding and the costs of production much lower than those of its international competitors. This leadership is due to the long work of many years undertaken by researchers in institutions of higher education and research and in private enterprises, which has resulted in a valuable baggage of knowledge and technology on sugarcane and its derivatives and on the process of ethanol manufacture.
The research has dealt with a variety of themes, such as the genetic improvement of the plant, combating pests, agricultural and harvesting techniques, impact of the cultivation on the environment, and technologies concerning the manufacture of ethanol, including hydrolysis and fermentation.
To maintain the leadership and competitiveness at a time when the world is discovering ethanol as an alternative energy source and many countries are investing massively in the technology of its production, mainly based on cellulose, demands even greater effort from Brazilian research.
FAPESP has always been attentive to the importance of sugarcane and ethanol to the State of São Paulo economy, and has continued to make a significant contribution to the advance in scientific knowledge and technology in the sector. Over the course of its 45 years, the State of São Paulo Research Foundation has supported, and continues to support a large number of research projects centered on diverse topics related to the sugarcane cultivation, its industrial uses, and to ethanol. These are research activities undertaken by means of financial awards for different levels of academic training, by means of individual grants to researchers or by means of programs geared to technological research. In 1999, for example, FAPESP created the Sugarcane Genome Project, within the ambit of the FAPESP-Genome program, for the sequencing and analysis of sugarcane genes relating to productivity, resistance to pests and diseases and climatic variations. Since 2001, in partnership with the Center for Sugar Technology (CTC) and Dedini, FAPESP has supported the Dedini Rapid Hydrolysis program for the development of technology for ethanol production via acidic hydrolysis on an industrial scale.
Support for research has also been delivered by means of the Technological Innovation in Small Businesses (PIPE) and the Partnership for Technological Innovation (PITE) programs. The latter contemplates agreements for scientific cooperation signed between FAPESP and the Oxiteno and Dedini companies. Under the first agreement R$ 6 million (approximatelly US$ 3.1 million) will be contributed towards alcohol-chemical and sugar-chemical research. Under the second agreement, R$ 100 million (approximatelly US$ 52.6 million) will be invested in research geared to the industrial production of ethanol.
In this publication there is information on research projects into sugarcane, ethanol and other industrial products supported by FAPESP over the last 10 years. Click HERE to access the complete document in a PDF form.

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One response to “Brazil world leader in sugarcane and ethanol knowledge and technology

  1. Being a sugarcane worker from India; as always; fascinated by Brazilian work on sugarcane for sugar and ethanol

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