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Call for competitive low-carbon energy: Partnering with Brazil on advanced biofuels 2015



Decarbonising the transport sector is a major challenge in the global fight against climate change. As such, it is a crucial element in the EU Energy Roadmap 2050 and in the Brazilian National Policy for Climate Change. In the short-term and medium-term perspective, biofuels are expected to be the main contributors to this de-carbonisation. In order to achieve the EU and Brazil policy targets in this domain, and to address concerns regarding environmental impacts of biofuels, new and advanced biofuels using sustainable feedstock need to reach the market. Brazil is an essential partner in this sector: it has outstanding expertise, a well-established and highly competitive first-generation industry, as well as optimal conditions for the development of an advanced biofuel industry. Hence in the framework of the EU-Brazil S&T Cooperation Agreement, the European Commission representing the European Union and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) of the Government of Brazil are working together to benefit from the complementarities in research and innovation, in order to foster the development of advanced biofuels and accelerate their commercialisation both in Brazil and in Europe. The advanced biofuel technologies to reach first commercial maturity will most likely be linked to and find its basis on the current production systems with high economic and environmental performance, such as the sugarcane based ethanol. The joint work should thus focus on the development of advanced biofuel technologies that can be integrated in existing sugarcane-based biofuel processes. To this end, the following sub-challenges should be addressed: 

  • Exploiting synergies between Brazil and Europe in terms of scientific expertise, industrial capacity and resources.
  • Proving that the integration of advanced biofuels technologies into existing sugarcane ethanol plants is technically feasible, cost competitive and environmentally and socio-economically sustainable at commercial scale. Joint work should build upon the Brazilian sugarcane ethanol model, and benefit from the Brazilian and European experience in biofuels.
  • Developing or improving logistic systems for a sound and sustainable feedstock supply.





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