The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) are shacking up in hopes to better develop and commercialize biofuels.
The partnership between NREL and Petrobras helps solidify an agreement made between the United States and Brazil on March 9, 2007; it was signed by the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Brazil Foreign Minister Celso Amorim.
NREL, a DOE Federally Funded Research and Development Center, is managed and operated by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy and Petrobras is the largest energy company in Latin America.
“By bringing Brazilian expertise together with some of the leading U.S. biofuels researchers at NREL, we will increase our knowledge and be able to more quickly commercialize renewable biofuels in the global marketplace,” said NREL Director Dan E. Arvizu.
Both entities are interested in “the development of advanced next generation biofuels technologies through biochemical and thermochemical routes from biomass.” NREL R&D studies the environmental and sustainable evaluation of advanced biofuels in support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and other partners.
Petrobras researches ethanol, vegetable oil conversion to diesel oil, and production of biomass-derived petroleum-like fuels.
“The use of residues can substantially increase ethanol production without a correspondent increase of the planted area, boosting the existing process’ production by using its own residues,” said CENPES Executive Manager, Carlos Tadeu da Costa Fraga.
The agreement has four major areas of research: biochemical production processes, thermochemical processes, economic and sustainability analysis from lignocellulosic biomass and evaluation of intermediate blends of ethanol and gasoline.