-Swapna Sundar, CEO, IP DOME
In the sugar cane season, we thought it appropriate to bring you something appropriate about the ‘sweet bamboo’.
Brazil is the world leader in ethanol biofuels. The 36-year old ethanol fuel programme has resulted in an annual production of 26.2 billion litres of ethanol (30% of world production) based on the most efficient agricultural technology for sugarcane cultivation in the world. Since 1976 the government made it mandatory to blend anhydrous ethanol with gasoline, and today, all light vehicles in Brazil are ‘flexible-fuel’ efficient, running on 25%- 39% ethanol mixed with gasoline. In 2008 17.6% of the country’s transport energy needs were met by sugarcane ethanol.
Ref: business week Nov.7, 2011, annual reviews scientific publisher, oilprice.com
The first bio-plastic was the patented Parkesine, which received the bronze medal in the 1862 London World Fair. Subsequently, petrochemical polymers became predominant in the industry till issues of environmental pollution and fossil fuel scarcity loomed in the horizon. Today, sugarcane ethanol has emerged as an important ingredient to substitute for petroleum (replacing 30% globally) in the production of ‘bio-plastic’. These have the same physical and chemical properties as regular plastic but with full recycling capabilities.
Ref: technologyreview.es, sugarcane.org