GranBio’s Bioflex 1 industrial unit is the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol factory in the Southern Hemisphere and the most innovative project in the sugar-based alcohol industry since Proálcool.
Located in the municipality of São Miguel dos Campos, in Alagoas, 55 kilometers from port in Maceió, the unit became operational in September of 2014. It has capacity to produce 82 million liters of biofuel per year.
A combination of technologies (pre-treatment, enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation) permits the transformation of sugarcane straw and bagasse into an advanced and clean fuel that does not crowd out food production.
GranBio’s 2G ethanol is the world’s cleanest commercial-scale fuel. It contributes significantly to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Bioflex was the first 2G ethanol plant to be certified by the Air Resource Board (ARB), from California. ARB evaluates the carbon footprint of the biofuel from extraction of the raw material, through transformation into ethanol, to distribution of the product through a Californian port. No other fuel produced on a large scale is better for the environment and reversing climate change than that of GranBio, the first producer of 2G ethanol to have the carbon footprint approved by the American agency.
2G ethanol is more sustainable for a variety of reasons. First, it is not necessary to plant even one more acre of sugarcane to produce it. The raw material used in the process consists only of byproducts, like the straw, which previously was discarded or burned in the fields. The 2G ethanol makes it possible to increase Brazilian production capacity per acre by 50% using agricultural waste – straw and bagasse, without need of expanding the cane fields.
Another gain is in exploiting 2G ethanol’s byproducts. Lignin, which is absent in the conventional process, is burned in a boiler that generates energy both for operating the factory and for the external electrical grid.
The vinasse, used as a fertilizer by cane producers, is processed differently at Bioflex. The product passes through an evaporation system that further concentrates its nutrients (nitrogen, potassium and sodium). In addition to adding more value to the vinasse, it prevents improper environmental dumping.
See in the animation below how we will transform what was once waste into second-generation ethanol.
GranBio will convert sugarcane straw and bagasse into ethanol using pretreatment technology Proesa®, licensed by Beta Renewables for Bioflex 1.
Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES) approved a R$ 300 milion loan for the construction of first GranBio’s industrial facility.
Banco do Nordeste financed machinery and equipment that enable the operation of Bioflex 1.
Joint-venture between Chemtex, TPG and Novozymes, Beta Renewables has licensed the Proesa® technology for the building and operation of the firs second generation plant on Brasil.
A subsidiary of Mossi & Ghisolfi, BioChemtex provides critical equipment to the cellulose Ethanol plant.
The Dutch company provides industrial yeasts to the fermentation of cellulose Ethanol.
The Danish company provides enzymes to the hydrolysis of the cellulose Ethanol.
A traditional producer of first-generation ethanol, it is GranBio’s partner at the first plant.