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SAE Brasil 2023: bioenergy, Brazil and the Hydrogen Era.

Thursday, October 26, 2023.

Today we will discuss another interesting panel from the 30th SAE BRASIL Congress.

Panel: Bioenergy and Brazil's position in the energy transition debate.

Let's look at some information presented by Guilherme Nastari from Datagro:

(1) Huge prospect of global ethanol expansion: corn, 2G ethanol, recovery of degraded soils.

(2) New uses for ethanol: hydrogen (reforming), Sustainable Aviation Fuel (alcohol-to-jet), ethylene (dehydration).

(3) Integration of Brazilian sugarcane production chains: renewal areas (peanuts, soybeans and corn), hydrolyzed bagasse and yeast (fattening and milk) and as an energy source for other sectors (ceramics, starch production, orange), etc. .

(4) Between 1975 and 2022 the area cultivated with grains in Brazil doubled, going from 37.3 to 76.6 million hectares. And grain production multiplied by almost 7 going from 46.9 to 317.5 million tons (source: CONAB). As reference from us, in the same period the world population doubled, as did the Brazilian population.

(5) Since 1990, the area occupied by pastures has reduced by around 15%, from 192 to 162 million hectares. Productivity rose from 1.7 to 4.5 arrobas per hectare per year.

(6) Comparative examples of fueling / recharging infrastructure and autonomy: (a) flex hybrid vehicle: 41.8 thousand stations, less than 5 minutes to refuel, 450km of autonomy with ethanol; (b) 100% electric vehicle: 3,300 charging stations, 7 hours to charge, 230km of autonomy.

(7) Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association 2022 Report: Necessary to use carbon-neutral fuels simultaneously with electrification, both in developed and developing countries.

(8) Hydrogen: "ethanol and biomethane can be understood as hydrogen enveloped in the form of practical fuels that are easy, safe, efficient and economical to capture, store and distribute." (H being hydrogen, and C carbon, gasoline has 1.62 H for each C, ethanol 3 H for each C and biomethane 4 H for each C).

(9) Ethanol is an excellent hydrogen carrier. A tank truck with 45 thousand liters of compressed hydrogen would be carrying the equivalent of 1,500 kg of hydrogen. If the 45 thousand liters were of ammonia, 4,700 kg of hydrogen. 45,000 liters of ethanol contain the equivalent of 7,700 kg of hydrogen.

Guilherme's last slide concludes: "We are heading towards the Hydrogen Era!"


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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