Alkol starts shipping of EUnergyCane

Alkol Biotech has started shipment of its EUnergyCane sugarcane hybrid grown in Spain.

A Danish provider of cellulosic ethanol technologies, who has bought the product and will receive it as dry bagasse, will use the hybrid to test its technologies. Its target audience is the increasingly large cellulosic ethanol market in Brazil.

Al Costa, CEO, Alkol Biotech, says: 'There are over 380 ethanol plants in Brazil and all are interested in using the sugarcane crushed residue (bagasse) to obtain cellulosic ethanol.'

As the EUnergyCane variety grows in European territory, it can bypass the usual phytosanitary procedures involved with sugarcane bagasse regularly imported from Brazil and India, which means less costs on permits and transportation.

The EUnergyCane is a sugarcane hybrid grown in the company's fields in the city of Motril in the south of Spain. It is a hybrid of naturally occurring sugarcane varieties grown for over 200 years in the south of Spain. The next phase is to cross it with a naturally occurring grass, which can grow in colder regions to obtain a hybrid breed.

Development of new sugarcane varieties with characteristics, including improved resistance to the mosaic virus or pests, higher sugar or fibre yields, and better resistance to chemicals, will now be implemented. These varieties will then be exported to sugarcane growing regions such as US, Brazil and China. It will also allow new chemicals such as pesticides to be tested on its growing regions, thus bypassing today's need to test them in foreign countries where that specific crop is found i.e. Brazil. Finally, it will generate biomass for second generation production method testing in Europe.

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