In the production of second-generation ethanol, everything is reused, from the beginning to the end of the production process. At BioFlex® 1, lignin – one of the byproducts of the production of second-generation ethanol – is burned together with sugar cane bagasse to generate electricity. An unprecedented solution for bioenergy in Brazil, since it is the first time that this waste is used for this purpose in the sugar and alcohol industry. It is an even more sustainable process than that of first-generation ethanol, both because of the very low amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere and the amount of waste generated. A real innovation in the energy sector in Brazil.
The cogeneration system, a partnership between GranBio and Usina Caeté – Carlos Lyra group’s first-generation ethanol plant – has a steam generation capacity of 200 tons per hour. It supplies the two industrial units and also exports a surplus of 135,000 MWh/year to the network, enough to supply a city with 300,000 inhabitants.
The system can run for eleven months a year, or 8,000 hours, in the harvest season and off-season of the Caeté plant. The project reinforces an irreversible trend in the Brazilian energy market.
A huge amount of cane straw is left in the fields after harvest and a lot of bagasse is produced after grinding. Both these materials can be used to generate energy. The expansion of the area planted with energy cane can significantly increase the potential for energy generation, as well as the collection of cane straw from the fields.
GranBio’s technology enables the use of less processed biomass (that is, sugar cane directly, instead of transforming it into lignin, etc.) to produce energy, a competitive advantage over other technologies.
These technologies are used to increase the availability of biomass and enable greater generation of energy. The company focuses on increasing biomass production through BioVertis® for potential customers instead of building its own generation plants.