US$ 50 million for research into industrial technologies
for the obtention of ethanol from sugarcane in São Paulo

Agreement between FAPESP and Dedini will fund projects to develop greater efficiency in the industrial processes of the production of alcohol fuel. Hydrolysis and the removal of lignin are among the research themes.

To find new procedures to improve the efficiency of the transformation of sugarcane into ethanol is one of the great challenges for maintaining Brazilian competitiveness in the international market. The world’s largest producer of alcohol fuel from sugarcane, Brazil possesses cutting edge technologies and is also the largest exporter of the product.

The State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and Dedini S/A Indústrias de Base signed a cooperation agreement on July, 17th to support the development of industrial processes in the sugar/alcohol sector. The agreement provides for the issuing of Calls for Research Proposals for university-industry collaborative research projects between researchers from higher education and research institutions in the state of São Paulo and those at Dedini. In a period of five years, the agreement will contract research up to a total of R$ 100 million, the costs split evenly between the two institutions.

“The rise of world interest in biofuels has provoked na intensification in technological advances based on scientific advances. Recognizing this challenge, FAPESP and Dedini have joined forces to stimulate and co-finance research projects that will advance knowledge and contribute to Dedini's competitivity”, says Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, FAPESP’s scientific director. According to Brito Cruz, “there is a very capable and active scientific community in the State of São Paulo and we expect many proposals that will contribute to this national strategic objective.”

Topics of interest
The total exploitation of sugarcane, as well as the capability and the possibility of large scale application of processing techniques, will secure Brazil’s place among the major producers and exporters of alcohol fuel.

The agreement envisages the construction of a pilot plant (an industrial installation for tests) which will bring together the scientific and technological research activities for the optimization of the Dedini Rapid Hydrolysis System (DHR). The plant should be set up, for example, to handle the reception and pre-treatment of bagasse, the feeding of the reactor and the recovery of the hydrosolvent.

Patented in Brazil, the United States, the European Union and in several countries across all the continents, DHR is a process which in a few minutes, by means of acidic hydrolysis, transforms the sugarcane bagasse into fermentable matter which can be used for the production of alcohol. It was developed by Dedini – up to the stage of pilot plant – and for the construction and installation of a Process Development Unit (UDP) on a larger scale, it received funding from FAPESP’s Partnership for Technological Innovation program (PITE). The DHR is installed in the São Luiz factory, in Pirassununga, and it enables an increase in alcohol production for the same area of planted sugarcane.

The Call for Proposals looks for research on efficient processes of acidic and enzymatic hydrolysis, analytical methods to define the hydrolysis parameters and evaluate residues, characterization and treatment of bagasse, solution and removal of the fiber’s lignin (a polymer which makes up the “skeleton” of the sugarcane), and the study of alternatives in hydrosolvents and acids, among others.

Research projects are expected that will evaluate organic compounds derived from the vinasse applied to the cultivation, studies on the burning of vinasse (including the environmental impact and the generation of carbon credits), the use of sugarcane straw as a fuel in furnaces and the burning of glycerin in furnaces to eliminate environmental impacts. Proposals will explore, for example, new distillation processes for the production of different types of alcohol, fluid dynamics and studies on energy efficiency in ethanol-producing industrial plants.

Also expected are proposals to study fermentation processes with flocculent yeast, fermentation with a high alcohol content and high efficiency, new materials which reduce mechanical wear and tear, increase the efficiency of the process and lower maintenance costs, in addition to software which evaluates the performance of the agricultural and industrial processes with regard to energy efficiency.


About FAPESP
The Foundation supports scientific and technological development in the state of São Paulo by means of the funding of fundamental research projects and research geared to objectives of national importance. To this end, it analyses, selects and finances research activities, contributing to the dissemination of knowledge and the training and the specialization of scientists and researchers. In 2006, the Foundation disbursed approximately US$ 260 million in the funding of research in every area of knowledge

The state of São Paulo heavily contributes to Brazilian participation in the international ethanol market. Research efforts geared to the advance in knowledge in sugarcane and ethanol have always been on the agenda of FAPESP, which recognizes the importance of advances in the sector for the economy of the state and the country. From 1997 to 2007, the Foundation disbursed US$ XXX in funding to around 290 projects in this area.

Research projects supported by the Foundation range from improvement of the conditions of cultivation and harvesting of sugarcane, studies on the structure of the plant in order to achieve the total exploitation of its biomass in the production of alcohol, the processing of sugarcane in the refineries, and even up to the development of machines and conversion systems.

Among the major initiatives is the Sugarcane Genome project, created in 1999 within the ambit of the FAPESP-Genome Program-, which sequenced and analyzed genes of the plant associated with productivity and resistance to pests and diseases, for example. Since 2001, in partnership with the Center for Sugarcane Technology (CTC) and with Dedini, FAPESP has supported the Dedini Rapid Hydrolysis project (DHR), geared to the obtention of ethanol, on a large scale, by means of acidic hydrolysis. In November 2006, an agreement signed with Oxiteno – an industrial chemical business controlled by the Ultra group – contributed US$ 3 million to projects aimed at the development of technology for the production of sugars, alcohol and derivatives, and products which substitute petroleum derivatives.

About Dedini
Dedini S/A Indústrias de Base manufactures parts, components, equipment, complete plants and units for different market segments. With headquarters in Piracicaba and units in Sertãozinho (SP), Maceió (AL) and Recife (PE), the group was founded 86 years ago and is a world leader in the supply of equipment and complete plants for the sugar/alcohol sector. At present, the distilleries designed and set up by Dedini are responsible for 80 per cent of the national production of alcohol and around 25 per cent of world production. The company has already furnished 120 complete factories, at a rate of about 24 per year.

Dedini develops new technologies through research projects and partnerships, to offer higher productivity and lower costs to its customers, such as those of integrated biodiesel and ethanol factories and alcohol distilleries.
The company’s team of professionals is trained to offer a variety of services, such as viability studies, initial process evaluations, engineering projects, manufacture of equipment, supervision of assembly, assembly and installation of industries in a variety of areas such as: sugar and ethanol; foods, juices and drinks; biodiesel; cellulose and paper; breweries; cement; energy and cogeneration; fertilizers; hydroelectrics; mining and metallurgy; petroleum, gas and petrochemicals; chemicals; metallurgy and effluent treatment.

Dedini today employs 4,800 staff and exports 10 per cent of its turnover to 25 countries such as the United States, Jamaica, Mexico, Canada and Sweden, among others.


FAPESP Communications Office/ Public Relations Section
Tels.: +55 (11) 3838-4151 / 38384176 imprensa@fapesp.br

Dedini Press Office
Flávia Romanelli – Tels.: +55 (19) 3403-5357
flavia.romanelli@dedini.com.br

Mr Rodrigo Santos
Phone 55 19 3403-3093 / 55 19 8189-2946


-------
 Brazil Invests $50 M in Ethanol from Sugarcane Projects
Sao Paulo, Brazil [RenewableEnergyAccess.com]

Approximately US$ 50 million will be allotted for research and projects focused on advancing the obtention of ethanol from sugarcane in Sao Paulo, Brazil, thanks to a joint venture between the State of Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and Dedini S/A Industrias de Base. Developing greater efficiency in the industrial processes of the production of alcohol fuel, hydrolysis and the removal of lignin will be among the research and project themes.

"The rise of world interest in biofuels has provoked an intensification in technological advances based on scientific advances. Recognizing this challenge, FAPESP and Dedini have joined forces to stimulate and co-finance research projects that will advance knowledge and contribute to Dedini's competitivity."

-- Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, FAPESP, scientific director

To find new procedures to improve the efficiency of the transformation of sugarcane into ethanol is one of the great challenges for maintaining Brazilian competitiveness in the international market. The world's largest producer of alcohol fuel from sugarcane, Brazil possesses cutting edge technologies and is also the largest exporter of the product.

The recent agreement provides for the issuing of Calls for Research Proposals for university-industry collaborative research projects between researchers from higher education and research institutions in the state of São Paulo and those at Dedini. In a period of five years, the agreement will contract research up to a total of US$ 50 million, with the costs split evenly between the two institutions.

"The rise of world interest in biofuels has provoked an intensification in technological advances based on scientific advances. Recognizing this challenge, FAPESP and Dedini have joined forces to stimulate and co-finance research projects that will advance knowledge and contribute to Dedini's competitivity," says Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, FAPESP's scientific director.

According to Brito Cruz, "there is a very capable and active scientific community in the State of São Paulo and we expect many proposals that will contribute to this national strategic objective."

The agreement envisages the construction of a pilot plant (an industrial installation for tests), which will bring together the scientific and technological research activities for the optimization of the Dedini Rapid Hydrolysis System (DHR). The plant should be set up, for example, to handle the reception and pre-treatment of bagasse, the feeding of the reactor and the recovery of the hydrosolvent.

Patented in Brazil, the United States, the European Union and in several countries across all the continents, DHR is a process which in a few minutes, by means of acidic hydrolysis, transforms the sugarcane bagasse into fermentable matter which can be used for the production of alcohol. The process was developed by Dedini—up to the stage of pilot plant—and for the construction and installation of a Process Development Unit (UDP) on a larger scale, and it received funding from FAPESP's Partnership for Technological Innovation program (PITE).
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