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Shell moves heavily into bio-fuels from sugar cane bagasse in Brazil

Friday, April 8th 2011 - 22:10 UTC
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Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s biggest distributor of bio-fuels, is shifting research to waste from sugar-cane farming after ending an algae project in Hawaii. Shell, Iogen Corp. and Codexis have been researching enzymes to produce cellulose ethanol from wheat stalks and sugar-cane bagasse, a sugar industry waste product. Read full article


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  • GeoffWard

    Crops need nutrients, nutrients make sugar, sugar is exported, brash is burned, *some* nutrient returns to the soil.

    Shell will use brash (bagasse) to make ethanol; less nutrient will be returned to the soil. Artificial fertiliser will be needed, costed, bought, imported, and spread after every harvest.

    The nett worth of the ethanol will take account of the always increasing cost of fertiliser. [Interestingly, fertiliser can be made from oil]. There is good research on the total economic cost and real nett economic benefit of alternative use of nutrients and their transformation products.

    The first thing the Brasilian Government should do is instruct its ministry/research institute of agricultural economics to research with Shell the agro-economic outcomes of different projected activities, because the cost/benefit balances will allow a buy-in price for Shell and a calculated Government financial benefit flow from the preferred option. Environmental Impact Analysis - including soil degradation, leaching, run-off and erosion - will be a key part of the equation.

    Apr 09th, 2011 - 10:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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