Agronomist, PhD in Genetics and Plant Breeding at Sao Paulo University, plant breeder in sugarcane at CTC for 15 years, breeding manager at CanaVialis / Monsanto for 5 years and since November 2011, agricultural technology director at GranBio, company that built the first cellulosic ethanol plant in the southern hemisphere, in which has the responsibility of to bring the biomass solution for 2G ethanol and/or biochemical plants of the group, especially the development of energy cane.
Energy cane as main biomass for second generation biofuels
The last century was the scene of an extraordinary social and economic development of mankind. This development had the fossil energy as one of its pillars. The discovery of petrol led the society to shape a development model highly dependent on this source of energy, which has finite resources and also promotes a big increase on the greenhouse gases, with unforeseeable consequences for the human beings as well as the entire life. It is imperative that we change the pillars of energy from fossil to renewables that will be more sustainable and less aggressive to the environment. One of the sources of this new energy platform, probably the best, is biomass. Fibrous plants bring several advantages and fit well within the requirements deemed important to be elected as producers of biomass. Among these characteristics, we have the high processing capacity of solar energy into biomass, fast growth, long-term canopy, possibility of large-scale production. Despite of that this plants are adapted to suboptimal environments that allows its production not compete with food production because it requires less energy input, bringing marginal lands into production with its all social-benefit consequences. Among the fibrous plants, SUGARCANE or, better, ENERGYCANE has one of the biggest potential for biomass productions. Breeding development of energycane varieties has been showings the biggest potential to produce highest yields of cellulosic sugars in comparison with sugarcane and other biomass dedicated crops like sorghum, elephant grass and eucalyptus. Also, these types of varieties are much more adapted to poor and dry soils, allowing it’s cultivation degraded area like bad used pastures and nom competing in land with food. Results from Granbio breeding program will be presented.