Brazil and U.S. in cellulosic biofuel deal

by Antonio Pasolini on August 27, 2010

Via: Vivbizclub

The Brazilian energy company Petrobras, through its American branch Petrobras America, and Wyoming-based KL Energy Corporation, have announced an 18-month agreement to develop new technology for the cellulosic ethanol process for sugarcane bagasse feedstock.

Petrobras will provide $11 million to adapt KL Energy’s demonstration facility to the use of bagasse and validate, by means of tests, the optimized process for producing cellulosic ethanol. The goal is to integrate a bagasse-based cellulosic ethanol plant into a sugarcane mill in Brazil by 2013.

KLE’s unit uses wastewood as feedstock and can be optimized for multiple feedstocks.

The agreement provides for mutual exclusivity in the area of developing cellulosic ethanol from bagasse. Petrobras will have the option to enter into a technology license for the use of KLE’s technology within Petrobras Group assets.

The deal is part of Petrobras’ plans to develop alternatives for the production of biofuels and renewable, sustainable chemicals to complement initiatives already in progress, such as research with microalgae to produce oil.

“Brazil is a global leader in the production of affordable biomass and bagasse, which we believe is a perfect feedstock for our process. KLE plans to be at the forefront of the emerging cellulosic ethanol market in Brazil,” said Peter Gross CEO, of KL Energy Corporation.

“Petrobras views cellulosic ethanol as a very promising technology to improve the sustainability of our sugarcane mills and substantially increase ethanol by some 40% without increasing the land area required to produce it. This agreement with KLE will considerably accelerate this development effort”, said Miguel Rossetto, CEO of Petrobras Biocombustível.

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