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GraalBio Licenses Beta Renewables' PROESA Process to Build Brazil's First Commercial Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

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GraalBio Investimentos S.A. and Beta Renewables announced that GraalBio will build Brazil's first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant, with a planned start of operations by the end of 2013. The plant, with a production capacity of 65,000 metric tons per year (22 million gallons) will use Beta's PROESA© technology to deliver cost-competitive ethanol while using non-food cellulosic biomass as its feedstock. PROESA is the same technology as will be used at the world's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Crescentino, Italy, expected to start operations in the second half of 2012. Chemtex, a division of the leading chemical firm Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi (M&G) will provide engineering services, key equipment and technical field services. This announcement follows the initial October 2011 announcement of a collaboration between the firms.

The plant will be built at Nord Est, Alagoas, Brazil, starting this summer, next to an existing plant that produces bio-ethanol from sugarcane; the two plants will share utilities. The plant will use sugarcane straw and bagasse as feedstock, sourced locally. Additionally, the plant will generate its own power, by using the lignin produced as a byproduct of the PROESA process.

"We applaud GraalBio's vision in choosing the PROESA process to produce second-generation bioethanol," said Guido Ghisolfi, CEO, Beta Renewables. "We believe that PROESA technology will let producers see superior returns on their investments, while enabling more sustainable production of advanced biofuels and bio-based chemicals."


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