The KLE process. Click to enlarge. Petrobras, via Petrobras America, entered into a Joint Development Agreement with KL Energy Corporation (KLE) to optimize KLE’s proprietary cellulosic ethanol process technology for sugarcane bagasse feedstock. As part of this agreement, Petrobras will provide $11 million to adapt KLE’s demonstration facility to the... Read more →


Integrating cellulosic ethanol production via DHR. Source: Dedini. Click to enlarge. Dedini S/A Indústrias de Base and Novozymes A/S signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aiming at continuing to develop a technological route to produce cellulosic ethanol in Brazil. The objective of this partnership is to develop a process using... Read more →


Petrobras Partners with BIOeCON on BiCHEM Process for Cellulosic Biofuels and Chemicals

Brazil’s Petrobras will partner with BIOeCON, a Dutch company, on the development of a new process for enhanced conversion of lignocellulosic biomass such as sugarcane bagasse into chemicals that can be used to produce green plastics, or further transformed into next-generation advanced biofuels. The new technology, called BiCHEM (Biomass Chemical... Read more →


Petrobras and São Martinho Partner in Brazilian Ethanol Sector, Form New JV

Petrobras, through its Petrobras Biocombustível subsidiary, has formed a strategic partnership with Grupo São Martinho S.A., one of the largest sugar and energy groups in Brazil, to increase ethanol production in Midwestern Brazil, in the State of Goiás. The partners will form a new joint venture company—Nova Fronteira Bioenergia S.A.—which... Read more →


Bayer CropScience and Brazil’s CTC to Partner On Research to Increase Sugar Content of Sugarcane for Biofuels

Bayer CropScience and the CTC—Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira, the Center for Sugarcane Technology, São Paulo, Brazil—intend to enter into a broad cooperation on the research and development of biotech sugarcane varieties. The main goal is to combine the expertise of both partners to develop varieties with higher sugar content, aiming... Read more →


Launch ceremony for the first Promef Suezmax tanker. Source: Petrobras. Click to enlarge. Brazil’s Petrobras set a new monthly oil production record in April. The month’s average topped-out at 2,032,620 barrels per day, exceeding the previous monthly record, of 2,003,940 barrels per day, set in September 2009, by 29,000 barrels.... Read more →


Petrobras Launches Two Palm Oil Projects; Biodiesel in State of Pará, Renewable Diesel with Galp in Portugal

Brazil’s Petrobras is launching two projects to produce biofuels from palm oil (dendê) in Tomé-Açu (state of Pará): a Petrobras-owned biodiesel plant (the Biodiesel Pará project), and a project to produce renewable diesel in partnership with Portuguese outfit Galp Energia (the Belém project) (earlier post). The feedstock supply strategy foresees... Read more →


Petrobras to Take 45.7% Stake in 4th Largest Sugarcane Processor in Brazil for Biofuels and Bioenergy

Petrobras and Tereos Participações Ltda. (Tereos International) have formed a strategic partnership to invest in Açúcar Guarani S.A. (Guarani), a Tereos group subsidiary, aiming to accelerate its growth in the Brazilian ethanol, sugar and bioenergy industry. Additionally, investments will be increased in technology and in research and development programs for... Read more →


Brazil’s 10-millionth flex-fuel vehicle was built on 4 March, according to the country’s National Association of Vehicle Manufacturers (Anfavea). The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) commented that this milestone should encourage automakers to invest more in the global dissemination of what has been accomplished in Brazil, as well as in... Read more →


Shell and Cosan Intend to Form $12B JV in Brazil To Be One of the World’s Largest Ethanol Producers; Shell Would Contribute Interests in Iogen and Codexis

Shell International Petroleum Company Limited and Cosan S.A. have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU), with the intention to form a circa $12 billion joint venture (JV) in Brazil for the production of ethanol, sugar and power, and the supply, distribution and retail of transportation fuels. Cosan is the... Read more →


Bunge expects global sugar demand expected to grow at more than 2% per annum, and ethanol demand to increase both within Brazil and for the export market. Source: Bunge. Click to enlarge. US-based global agribusiness company Bunge Limited has entered into an agreement to become the 100% owner of Usina... Read more →


Novozymes in Two New Research Partnerships in Brazil; Biogas from Bagasse and Polypropylene from Sugarcane

Novozymes, an international enzymes and microorganisms company, has entered two new research partnerships in Brazil. A partnership with Cetrel, the largest provider of environmental solutions for the manufacturing industry in Latin America, is focused on the production of biogas from sugarcane bagasse using enzymes. The biogas can be used to... Read more →


Amyris to Partner with Three Sugar and Ethanol Producers in Brazil for Manufacture of Renewable Chemicals and Fuels

Amyris Brasil, a wholly owned subsidiary of synthetic biology company Amyris Biotechnologies, Inc. has entered into letter of intent agreements with three sugar and ethanol producers in Brazil—Bunge Limited, Cosan and Açúcar Guarani with the purpose of partnering for the production of high value renewable specialty chemicals and fuels. These... Read more →


Brazil to Increase Mandatory Biodiesel Blend to 5% in 2010; Mandatory Emissions Testing for Vehicles

Effective January 2010, Brazilian diesel fuel vehicles will be required to run on a 5% biodiesel blend, up from 4% at present. The announcement was made last Friday by president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and is expected to raise biodiesel production levels to 2.4 billion liters (634 million gallons)... Read more →


The Electric Daily in Brazil. Click to enlarge. Iveco has presented a prototype of its new Electric Daily in Brazil, destined to be the first zero emission light commercial vehicle produced in Latin America. The project builds on Iveco’s long-running research and development of electric propulsion, which started with the... Read more →


GM Brazil to Invest R$2B in Expansion and New Line of Chevrolet Small Cars

General Motors Brazil will invest R$2 billion (US$1.033 billion) to launch a new Chevrolet line of vehicles and to expand its plant in Gravataí, Rio Grande do Sul. The investment is the largest made by the company in its 84 years in Brazil. Included in the investment program is the... Read more →


Petrobras Biocombustível To Invest US$2.4B in Biodiesel and Ethanol Production

As part of its newly released business plan, Brazil’s Petrobras Biocombustível intends to invest approximately US$2.4 billion in biodiesel and ethanol production from 2009-2013; 91% of the investment is targeted for Brazil. This investment is part of a total of $2.8 billion Petrobras earmarked for the biofuels business, which also... Read more →


NREL and Petrobras to Collaborate on Advanced Biofuels Research

The US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) have signed an agreement that could accelerate the development and international commercialization of advanced, second-generation biofuels. The announcement was made at the International Biofuels Conference in São Paulo, Brazil. Petrobras and NREL have common interests... Read more →


Monsanto Acquires Brazilian Sugarcane Breeding and Genomics Companies for $290M

Sugarcane, a monocot, can benefit from Monsanto’s existing work on its corn platform. Click to enlarge. Monsanto is acquiring Aly Participações Ltda., which operates the sugarcane breeding and biotechnology companies, CanaVialis S.A. and Alellyx S.A., both of which are based in Brazil. The $290-million (R$616 million) cash purchase marks a... Read more →


SEKAB and Brazilian Partners To Introduce “Verified Sustainable Ethanol”

The Swedish company SEKAB, which delivers about 90% of all ethanol in Sweden for E85 and ED95 (ethanol for heavy-duty vehicles using compression ignition engines, earlier post), announced that it will be the first company to supply verified sustainable ethanol. This ethanol from Brazilian sugarcane is quality-assured from environmental, climate... Read more →


BP To Take 50% Stake in Brazilian Ethanol Company Tropical BioEnergia SA

BP announced today that it intends to take a 50% stake in Tropical BioEnergia SA, a joint venture established by Brazilian companies Santelisa Vale and Maeda Group, which is constructing a 435 million liter (115 million gallons) a year ethanol refinery in Edéia, Goias State, Brazil. The joint venture, in... Read more →


São Paolo Puts Ethanol Bus into Service in BEST Project; E25 Prius Hybrids Under Test

The Scania-based E95 bus in São Paolo. São Paulo, Brazil’s Sistema Metropolitano de Transporte (Metra—Metropolitan Transport System), has put into operation the first Scania-based E95 ethanol bus it will test as one element of Brazil’s two-part involvement in the BioEthanol for Sustainable Transport (BEST) project. (Earlier post.) Scania delivered the... Read more →


Novozymes in Development Agreement For Bagasse Ethanol in Brazil

Novozymes has concluded a development agreement with CTC (Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira), the Brazilian sugar cane industry’s technical center, to contribute enzyme technology for developing bioethanol from bagasse. The agreement with CTC is a research collaboration with a view to developing bioethanol from bagasse—the residual cellulosic product of sugar production... Read more →


BioDiesel Technologies Launching First Commercial Jatropha Biodiesel Project in Brazil

The CPU 1000 unit. Brazil’s first commercial jatropha biodiesel project goes into operation this month following the delivery of BioDiesel Technologies’ (BDT) processing unit. BDT will deliver an additional four processing units to increase the plant's annual capacity to 40,000 tonnes (about 10 million gallons US) by the end of... Read more →


Dow and Crystalsev to Make Polyethylene from Sugar Cane Ethanol in Brazil

The Dow Chemical Company, the world’s largest producer of polyethylene, and Crystalsev, one of Brazil’s largest ethanol players, plan to form a joint venture to manufacture polyethylene from sugar cane ethanol. With production expected to start in 2011, the plant will have an annual capacity of 350,000 metric tons. The... Read more →


Brazil and Indonesia in Ethanol Pact

Brazil will provide Indonesia with technical help to produce sugarcane ethanol under a pact just signed by the two nations. Indonesia, with the fourth-largest population in the world (behind China, India, and the United States), wants to revitalize its agriculture sector and reduce its dependence on oil. A member of... Read more →


US and Brazil Sign MoU to Advance Cooperation on Biofuels

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim today signed a memorandum of understanding to advance cooperation between the two countries on biofuels. As the world’s two largest producers of ethanol, the United States and Brazil intend to advance the research and development of new technologies... Read more →


Petrobras to Assess Oil Shale Production in Jordan

Brazil’s Petrobras has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources (MEMR) of Jordan to undertake a 2-year technical and economic viability study for the use of Petrobras’ oil shale technology—Petrosix—in Jordan’s Attarat field. Petrobras has been working on oil shale production since 1954.... Read more →


Marubeni Establishes Biodiesel Company in Brazil

Marubeni Corporation, Japan’s fifth-largest trading company, is investing US$40 million to establish Agrenco Bio-Energia Ltda (ABE) in Brazil as a joint venture with Agrenco Group, a Brazilian grain trading company. ABE will produce biodiesel and soybean meal. ABE plans to construct three biodiesel production plants and two soybean oil crushing... Read more →


Honda Launches Production Of 2nd Flex-Fuel Model In Brazil

Nikkei. Honda Motor has begun manufacturing a flexible-fuel version of the Fit subcompact at its plant in Brazil. It is the second flex-fuel car to be produced at the factory following the Civic compact sedan, which it started to make in November. (Earlier post.) In Brazil, flex-fuel vehicles account for... Read more →


Petrobras and Mitsui Finalize Plan on Ethanol Exports to Japan for Power and Transport from 2010

Nikkei. Petrobras and Mitsui & Co. have finalized a plan to export ethanol to Japan beginning in 2010 for use in power plants and as a transportation fuel. Petrobras will lay pipelines in Brazil and secure tankers for transport to Japan. Mitsui will secure sugarcane fields and build a facility... Read more →


Brazil Launches Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Bus Project

Brazil’s first hydrogen fuel-cell bus. Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy and EMTU/SP (São Paulo Metropolitan Urban Transport Company) have officially launched the country’s first hydrogen fuel-cell bus project, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (PNUD), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Projects Funding Body (FINEP). The... Read more →


Dynetek Enters into Strategic Relationship with Delphi for CNG Systems in Brazil

Dynetek Industries (Calgary, Canada), a provider of lightweight storage cylinders for compressed hydrogen and compressed natural gas (CNG), has signed a letter of intent with Delphi Automotive Systems Do Brazil LTDA. Delphi SA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delphi Corp. Dynetek and Delphi SA intend to negotiate a commercial... Read more →


Brazilian Bus Company Deploys Ethanol-B30 Biodiesel Blend in Fleet

Brazilian bus company Viação Itaim Paulista (VIP) has begun powering a fleet of 1,880 buses in São Paulo, South America’s largest city, with a blend of 30% biodiesel, 8% ethanol and 62% petroleum diesel. The fuel was developed as part of joint effort between B100—a company created by VIP to... Read more →


Report: Honda to Begin Production of E100 Flex-Fuel Cars for Brazil

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that Honda will begin producing flex-fuel cars capable of running solely on bioethanol—E100. The report follows Honda’s announcement that it, in partnership with RITE, has developed a process for the production of cellulosic ethanol. (Earlier post.) Honda had earlier stated in its Annual Report 2006 that... Read more →


ADM Plans to Build Biodiesel Plant in Brazil

Archer Daniels Midland Company announced plans to build a biodiesel production facility in Rondonopolis, Mato Grosso, Brazil with an annual capacity of 180,000 metric tons (54 million gallons US). The plant will use soybean oil as its feedstock and is competitively positioned to meet the large anticipated demand from soybean... Read more →


Brazil May Accelerate B5 Mandate from 2013 to 2010

Brazil is evaluating the possibility of accelerating the implementation of a mandated B5 biodiesel blend (5% biodiesel) from 2013 to 2010. A transition to a B2 blend is targeted for 2008. Each percentage point of a biodiesel mix will save Brazil roughly the equivalent of US $140 million per year... Read more →


OBVIO! to Introduce Electric Cars to North America (updated)

The 828. Brazilian automotive company OBVIO! will develop and introduce lithium-ion-powered electric cars based on its 828 and 012 microsport car designs (earlier post) for export to North America. OBVIO! has a strategic partnership with California automobile distributor ZAP, which has agreed to be the exclusive North American distributor and... Read more →


UNICA: Brazilian Ethanol Exports to US Surge Despite Tariff

CattleNetwork. Brazil exported upwards of a record 428 million liters (113 million gallons US) of ethanol in June due to surging demand from the US, according to UNICA, the São Paulo Sugar Cane Agroindustry Union. Exports are likely to increase to 1.5 billion liters (396 million gallons US) by September.... Read more →


Fiat Brazil Introduces Production Siena Tetrafuel and Prototype Electric Palio

Siena 1.4 Tetrafuel Fiat Automòveis, the Brazilian arm of Fiat Auto, has launched the world’s first four-fueled production vehicle, the Siena 1.4 Tetrafuel. The TetraFuel, shown earlier at the 2006 Challenge Bibendum, operates on natural gas, gasoline, pure ethanol (E100) or gasohol (20% alcohol/gasoline blends). The company also introduced a... Read more →


VW Ceases Production of Gasoline-Only Models in Brazil; All to Be Flex-Fuel

VW’s flex-fuel sales in Brazil Effective this month, Volkswagen Brazil is halting production of gasoline-only models in the country. All vehicles with gasoline engines will now roll off the line flex-fuel-capable. While a number of manufacturers offer flex-fuel vehicles in Brazil, VW is the first to switch entirely to the... Read more →


Petrobras Develops Hydrogenation Process to Produce Diesel Fuel with Vegetable Oil

The H-BIO process hydrogenates a vegoil/mineral oil mix to produce high-quality diesel suitable for blending with Biodiesel. Click to enlarge. Petrobras, the Brazilian state-owned oil and gas company, has tested and approved a new approach to producing diesel fuel using vegetable oil as an input in a refining process. Dubbed... Read more →


Brazil to Achieve Self-Sufficiency in Oil—At Least for Awhile

The P-50 rig The recent activation of Brazil’s newest offshore rig—the P-50—sets the country on the path to self-sufficiency—at least for awhile—in oil. The new rig will boost Petrobras’ total oil production to an average 1.9 million barrels per day this year—more than the average consumption of 1.85 million barrels... Read more →


Brazilian Ethanol in the Spotlight of WEF Roundtable on Latin America

A two-day World Economic Forum roundtable in São Paolo, Brazil, on the role of Latin America in the global economy focused in part on the role of biofuels and energy security in Latin America—and more specifically, on the role of Brazilian ethanol. Jose Goldemberg, Secretary for the Environment, Government of... Read more →


Petrobras and Mitsui to Sign Ethanol Export Pact; Ct. Governor Calls for Removal of US Tariff on Ethanol

Petrobras—Brazil’s state-controlled oil company—and Mitsui—Japan’s second-largest trading company—will sign an agreement on Monday (10 April) to promote and to sell Brazilian sugar-cane ethanol in world markets. This agreement follows the May 2005 memorandum signed by Petrobras, Mitsui and Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) to study how to expand Brazil’s exports... Read more →


UK and Brazil Launch Working Group on Climate Change and Establish Dialog on Sustainable Development

UK Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett and Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim today signed a joint statement establishing the UK-Brazil High-Level Dialogue on Sustainable Development and a Working Group on Climate Change. The signing, which took place in London as part of Brazilian President Lula’s three-day State Visit, establishes a structured... Read more →


Nissan to Develop 1-Liter Car for Emerging Markets

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that Nissan plans to develop a global strategic vehicle with an engine displacement of about 1 liter targeted at China, India and other emerging markets. The company reportedly will spend more than ¥100 billion (US$843 million) to produce about 600,000 units a year—nearly 20% of... Read more →


Petrobras Buys 50% of Texas Refinery

Petrobras, the Brazilian state-owned oil company, is paying US$370 million for a 50% stake in a Texas refinery. This marks Petrobras’ first joint venture with a US refiner and will provide more access to the North American market. Petrobras is taking the stake in the 100,000-barrel-per-day Pasadena Refining System refinery,... Read more →


Petrobras Considering 1-Billion Gallon/Year Ethanol Pipeline

Reuters. Petrobras, the Brazilian state-run oil giant, is considering the construction of a US$226 million (€186 million) ethanol pipeline capable of transporting 4 billion liters of ethanol per year. The pipeline under consideration would run from the central state of Goias to a refinery in Paulinia, near Sao Paulo, through... Read more →