Raízen, as large-scale sugarcane ethanol producer, and Iogen, a cellulosic biofuel technology developer, have begun production of cellulosic ethanol at Raízen’s newly expanded sugarcane mill in Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil.
Raízen started expansion works on the $100 million (€81 million) biomass-to-ethanol mill just over one year ago. The new facility will convert biomass such as sugarcane bagasse and straw into 40 million litres per year of second generation cellulosic biofuel.
It will also be the first large-scale commercial implementation of Iogen Energy’s cellulosic ethanol technology, which the company developed and used in its Ottawa demonstration facility.
‘Continuous commercial production will commence with the upcoming 2015 harvest season,’ says Pedro Mizutani, Raízen’s executive VP. Raízen has also announced that, given a success at Costa Pinto’s sugarcane mill in Piracicaba, São Paulo, it intends to open Iogen Energy’s technology in seven more Raízen sugarcane mills. ‘We plan to be producing up to 1 billion litres of cellulosic biofuel from bagasse and cane straw by 2024,’ says Mizutani.
‘The technology being deployed has undergone extensive testing and validation work,’ says Brian Foody, CEO of Iogen. ‘By operating over 6 months with Brazilian bagasse, we were able to troubleshoot problems, collect information, and adapt designs for reliable low-cost operation in Brazil.’