The platform for evaluation considers regional aspects with economic and environmental aspects, and estimates gains of nearly 1 billion dollars per year from decarbonization credits
A study led by researchers at the Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM) validates a platform of tools that combines satellite images, databases with modeling of the ethanol production life cycle, and greenhouse gas emissions to include reliable and georeferenced information in carbon credit calculation.
The research, published in Resources, Conservation and Recycling, uses spatial analysis to show significant variations in the carbon footprint of ethanol production in Brazil.
The findings represent a potential way to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the yearly total emissions from some countries in South America and Europe, like Denmark and Norway.
Besides significant contributions to emissions reduction goals, the conditions assessed in the project foresee increased revenues for the sector, with annual gains estimated at up to 880 million dollars in decarbonization credits (CBIOs) traded on the market.
In the study, the platform revealed significant variations when a georeferenced approach was applied to analysis of Brazilian ethanol production, showing differences in greenhouse gas emissions from region to region.
This same platform structure is an important instrument to validate strategic activities. This set of tools can be used to assess expanded biomass production in order to meet future demand for ethanol and other biorenewables. The platform also makes it possible to incorporate climate change projections like starting data for yield modeling, while also making it possible to improve environmental impact indicators such as mitigating greenhouse gas emissions by showing sites that are better suited for producing ethanol and other biorenewables.
The following table considers current and projected demand for ethanol in Brazil, potential revenue from CBIOs, and relative contribution by the sector in different scenarios.
A) – Current production of sugarcane ethanol: 29.75 billion L, 2020/21 harvest (CONAB, 2021)
(B) – Marginal demand for ethanol projected by RenovaBio for 2030: 19.5 billion L (EPE, 2021)
(C) – Marginal demand for ethanol for Brazil in 2030, considering conditions in SSP1: 41.25 billion L (Andrade Junior et al., 2019);
(1) Considering the market price for CBIO 100 on March 17, 2022, R$ 16/ton CO2e (B3, 2022)
“What we proved was this concept, that it is really possible to work strategically to optimize greenhouse gas mitigation and other environmental aspects as we meet future demand in the country. We can consequently boost revenues for this sector in the renewable energy market,” adds researcher Isadora Thayse Hernandes (LNBR/CNPEM).
The study incorporated knowledge acquired through the SUCRE (Sugarcane Renewable Electricity) project and received funding from the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the São Paulo Research Foundation, and private companies like Embraer, Suzano, and Klabin who provide support for the BioValue project.
Sophisticated and effervescent environment for research and development, unique in Brazil and present in few scientific centers in the world, the Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM) is a private non-profit organization, under the supervision of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI). The Center operates four National Laboratories and is the birthplace of the most complex project in Brazilian science – Sirius – one of the most advanced synchrotron light sources in the world. CNPEM brings together highly specialized multi-thematic teams, globally competitive laboratory infrastructures open to the scientific community, strategic lines of investigation, innovative projects in partnership with the productive sector and training of researchers and students. The Center is an environment driven by the search for solutions with impact in the areas of Health, Energy and Renewable Materials, Agro-environment, and Quantum Technologies. As of 2022, with the support of the Ministry of Education (MEC), CNPEM expanded its activities with the opening of the Ilum School of Science. The interdisciplinary higher course in Science, Technology and Innovation adopts innovative proposals with the aim of offering excellent, free, full-time training with immersion in the CNPEM research environment. Through the CNPEM 360 Platform, it is possible to explore, in a virtual and immersive way, the main environments and activities of the Center, visit: https://pages.cnpem.br/cnpem360/