UK and Brazil team up to pursue biofuels

Brazil's National Laboratory of Science and Technology of Bioethanol (CTBE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC), based in York, UK.

For the past five years, plant biologists, geneticists and green chemists from across Europe have been working with CTBE experts on sugarcane breeding and bioethanol production, in a research project led by the University of York. Their aim has been to improve the efficiency of bioethanol processing from plant material, so that less land is used in its production.

The BDC has recently been furthering this research by using its demonstration-scale processing facilities to test new energy crop varieties and new extraction methods. It has now signed an MOU with CTBE to further cooperate on research and development related to bio-based fuels and chemicals.

Professor Simon McQueen Mason, director of the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products at the University of York, says: 'This continuing collaboration between the foremost European and Brazilian researchers in the sector paves the way for a new generation of biofuels that are both cost-competitive and environmentally sustainable.'

BioVale, which helped to arrange the MOU between BDC and CTBE, is a new initiative to develop and promote Yorkshire and the Humber as an internationally recognised centre for the bio-based economy.