Brazilian bioethanol research gets funding boost

by Antonio Pasolini on July 5, 2010

Two Brazilian financing institutions have entered a partnership to spur bioethanol development. The Brazilian Innovation Agency, FINEP (Research and Projects Financing), and Brazil’s National Development Bank (BNDES) have established a program that will provide up to US$ 540 million in financing to the country’s biofuels sector.

Operations are set to begin on July 30 and the goal is to invest the money in projects over the next three to four years. These projects will aim at advancing the use of sugarcane bagasse and straw to produce ethanol and products such as polymers, special oils and biodiesel. The South American country is looking to develop an industrial complex for ethanol, following a similar model to the country’s petrochemical industry.

The main advantage of second generation ethanol, or bioethanol, is that it has the potential to double the country’s ethanol production capacity without demanding more land to grow sugarcane. All over the world research is being carried out to assess the technology for manufacturing 2G-ethanol and its economic viability. Brazil wants to become a major new player in this new market.

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