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Brazil Sugar-Cane Research Agency to Build Demonstration Plant

Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira, the Brazilian sugar-cane research agency, will build an 80 million-real ($38.5 million) plant to demonstrate a method of producing ethanol from crop residues.

The plant, with the capacity to make 3 million liters (793,000 gallons) of second-generation biofuel a year, will be added to an existing cane mill in Sao Manuel next year, Oswaldo Godoy, manager of projects at Piracicaba, Brazil-based CTC, said today in a telephone interview.

Sugar-cane companies that use CTC’s technology will be able to produce 30 percent to 50 percent more ethanol fuel from the same amount of cane, he said.

“This represents a good business for mills,” he said. The high quantity of biomass generated in cane fields means “second-generation ethanol will first become viable in Brazil.”

The cost of turning cane juice into ethanol is about 1.10 reais a liter, and CTC’s technology, which uses a cocktail of enzymes to break down tough materials, will produce fuel at slightly under that, he said.

CTC expects to receive 300 million reais through 2016 from development bank Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social and government agency Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos for various projects including the demonstration plant, he said.

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