Brasil: Experience with Biofuels
There are three good reasons for me to learn more about Brasil and biofuels:
- Brasil has extensive experience with biofuels.
- Brasil has many environmental factors which will help it lead the world in biorefinery innovation.
- I would like to visit Brasil (and do some consulting work there, if possible).
As a first step in a personal effort to learn more about the Brasil biorefinery sector, I sent an email to the author of those blogs. Along with an invitation to participate in the proposed October 2007 BioRefine meeting in Wisconsin, I offered to meet with him in Michigan if he has the time and interest.
Three specific aspects of the Brasilian bio-ethanol ecosystem of interest for northeast Wisconsin are:
- Learnings about smaller-scale biorefinery facilities. Many of the biomass conversion plants in Brasil appear to be co-located with agricultural processing facilities rather than stand-alone mega-production facilities. Experience with small and medium conversion plants should translate well to the Wisconsin situation.
- Brasil has many years of experience with vehicles operating on various levels of ethanol. Wisconsin consumers and all parts of the automotive sector, including maintenance and repair, should learn from Brasil's experience in this area.
- Improving the economic outlook for farmers and other agricultural sector workers. Because agriculture and forestry have been such a large part of northeast Wisconsin's economy but are now sectors with ongoing job losses, anything we can learn from Brasil's biorefineries about creating jobs in agriculture and forestry will be beneficial to the New North.