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Biofuels

With investments totaling R $ 5 million, Unicamp inaugurates the Biofuels Innovation Laboratory

07/15/2019 | 20h15
With investments totaling R $ 5 million, Unicamp inaugurates the Biofuels Innovation Laboratory
Divulgation Divulgation

The State University of Campinas (Unicamp) inaugurated, last Friday (5), the building of the Laboratory of Innovation in Biofuels (LIB), located in the Science and Technology Park of the educational institution. The solemnity was attended by the university's rector, Marcelo Knobel.

 

"Unicamp is a pioneer in research on biofuels, with colleges and institutes that operate in this area of research. Having a dedicated space can foster more research with companies and our research groups on biofuels and that will be very important for the development of this area in the country, "he said.

 

The Innovation Agency Inova Unicamp, in charge of the Science Park, also made public announcement for companies interested in installing in this new space, with research and development (R & D) projects.

 

Investment 

The construction of the building was supported by the Financing Agency of Innovation and Research (Finep) and aims to install companies interested in signing projects with Unicamp related to the area of biofuels, in themes such as plant biotechnology and yeasts; hydrolysis of biomass; fermentation; distillation; production of hydrogen from ethanol; efficient production of biodiesel; process management aimed at optimizing resources and reducing the impact on the environment.

 

The LIB received from Finep the amount of R $ 3,687,917.42 after approval of the project submitted in 2009, complemented with Unicamp's budget resource for completion in the amount of R$ 1,398,531.16.

 

In total, R$ 5,086,448.58 was invested to build the building with an area of 1,226.76 m², available for occupation and divided into three floors.

 

Among the differentials of LIB, there is also a pilot plant that occupies three floors in height, known in the construction jargon as high ceilings, destined for research with large equipment such as distillation columns and bioreactors, for example.

 

The building also has administrative, meeting and amphitheater rooms on the ground floor, as well as research laboratories on the 1st and 2nd floors (five rooms per floor).

 

Sustainability 

According to Professor Newton Frateschi, executive director of the Innovation Agency Inova Unicamp, the LIB building was inaugurated at an important moment to encourage biofuels research, due to the growing worldwide concern with sustainability.

 

"Research like those developed at Unicamp, in partnerships with companies, can reach the market with innovative products that contribute to the Brazilian economy and reduce the impact of humanity on the environment," he emphasized.

 

Agriculture faces a series of challenges in an ever-changing environment, which encourages an incessant quest for greater productivity with greater sustainability, "explains Marcelo Menossi, a professor at the Institute of Biology (IB) on the scientific work on sugarcane developed by the group of studies coordinated by him.

 

"In sugar cane culture it is no different, with stress being an important component of the drought that drastically reduces productivity," adds the professor. The group has filed 14 patent applications related to the genes that confer agronomic advantages such as drought tolerance, increase of sucrose content, acceleration of growth, as well as DNA sequences that enable the control of gene expression in sugarcane.

 

This is one of the examples of research carried out at the University when it comes to biofuels. Interaction with the productive sector is a priority in the group and recently one of the technologies was licensed to a company to increase tolerance to soybean drought. According to the professor, several innovations are under negotiation, with which the horizon is promising as far as the transfer of knowledge to the bioenergy sector of Brazil.

 

Biorefining 

Another research group in the area of biofuels is led by Professor Rubens Maciel Filho, a professor at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering (FEQ) at Unicamp, who has been working with biorefinery for the last 35 years. Currently, there is a thematic project supported by the Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo (Fapesp), with the objective of developing technologies and processes that will economically make possible the production of chemicals, materials, fuels and electricity in integrated bio- of sugar.

 

"The intentions of this proposal are related to increased ethanol production in combination with cogeneration and effective means of converting sugarcane biomass into ethanol and chemicals, including those with added value. fuel market, "he says.



Font: T&B Petroleum/Portal do Governo de São Paulo
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