Brazilian Bioenergy Innovation Awards Announced

Joanna Schroeder

During the World Biofuels Markets Brazil 2012 conference in São Paulo, SEE ALGAE Technology and Grupo JB took home the Brazilian Bioenergy Innovation of the Year award for their algae biofuel project. The Brazilian Bioenergy Deal of the Year award was given to GraalBio, Beta Renewables, DSM and Novozymes for their collaborative cellulosic ethanol production project.

Nadim Chaudhry, CEO of Green Power Conferences, said that the two projects using next generation feedstocks of microalgae and agricultural waste, will make significant economic and environmental impacts across Brazil. He added that these colloborations are just one of many demonstrating that the Brazilian bioenergy industry is making great progress.

SEE ALGAE (SAT) is developing infrastructure for the commercial production of algae-based biofuels and bioproducts. The award-winning $10 million project, currently under construction, comprises an industrial-scale microalgae production plant at the site of an existing JB sugarcane ethanol facility.

Anticipated to be operational in September 2013, the facility, being constructed in the north-eastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, will utilize wast CO2 emitted at the sugarcane ethanol plant to produce bioethanol and algal biomass from both natural and genetically modified algae strains. This algae production facility will utilize SAT’s proprietary photobioreactors to grow algae using the sugarcane facility’s CO2 waste stream as its primary feedstock.

The group anticipates the plant will annually produce 1.2 million liters (317,000 gallons) of algae oil for conversion into biodiesel and 1,100 tons of protein-rich algae biomass for the local cattle industry or, if operated with genetically engineered algae strains, up to 2.2 million liters (580,000 gallons) of bioethanol.

“Winning the Brazilian Bioenergy Innovation of the Year Award proves that the marketplace believes in the groundbreaking work we are doing with Grupo JB,” said SAT Chief Executive Officer Dr. Joachim Grill. “By introducing an algae cultivation technology that produces renewable biofuels and algae feed at prices that are competitive with mainstream alternatives, SAT is shifting the biofuels conversation from the future to the present, from hopeful potential to actualized results. This award serves to inform the wider market that optimally produced algal biofuels can consistently yield cost – in addition to environmental – advantages over traditional fossil fuels, all without using either arable land or food crops.”

In May, new Brazilian bioenergy company, GraalBio, announced plans to start production in December 2013 of an 82 million liter per year (22 million gallons) advanced biofuels plant in the Brazilian state of Alagoas. The plant will utilize the PROESA technology platform developed by Italian firm Beta Renewables, with Novozymes supplying the necessary enzyme technology and DSM the industrial yeasts.

advanced biofuels, algae, Cellulosic, Waste-to-Energy