Cellulosic biofuel technology developer Iogen Corporation and Raízen, one of the world’s largest producers of sugarcane ethanol, have begun production of cellulosic ethanol on schedule at Raízen’s newly expanded Costa Pinto sugar cane mill in Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil.
Raízen broke ground on the $US100 million “biomass-to-ethanol” expansion just over one year ago. The new facility will convert biomass such as sugar cane bagasse and straw into 40 million liters (10.6 million gallons US) per year of cellulosic biofuel. It will also be the first large-scale commercial implementation of Iogen Energy’s cellulosic ethanol technology, which the company developed and has extensively proven in its Ottawa demonstration facility.
Pedro Mizutani, Raízen’s Executive Vice President, said that continuous commercial production will commence with the upcoming 2015 harvest season. Raízen has already announced that, given a success at Costa Pinto, it intends to deploy Iogen Energy’s technology in seven more Raízen sugar cane mills.
We plan to be producing up to 1 billion liters [264 million gallons US] of cellulosic biofuel from bagasse and cane straw by 2024.—Pedro Mizutani
Raízen is a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and Brazilian ethanol company Cosan SA. Raízen produces more than 2.2 billion liters [581 million gallons US] of ethanol annually, 4.5 million tons of sugar, and has installed capacity of 934 MW of electric energy derived from sugar cane bagasse. The company has more than 5,200 service stations for retail fuel distribution in Brazil, more than 900 convenience stores, 60 fuel distribution depots, and aviation fuel businesses in 58 airports in Brazil.