Embrapa Agroenergy


Embrapa Agroenergy

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Schultz E.L.,Embrapa Agroenergy | de Souza D.T.,Embrapa Agroenergy | Damaso M.C.T.,Embrapa Agroenergy
Applied Adhesion Science | Year: 2015

According to estimates from the International Energy Agency, global energy consumption will increase by at least one third, between 2010 and 2035. The additional power required will be provided not only by fossil sources but also by renewables. While the world energy matrix is supplied only by 13.2% from renewable sources, Brazil has different scenery with renewables accounting for 42.4% of the energy matrix. This work aimed to evaluate the potential use of oleaginous in biorefineries considering the produced quantity, prices, and costs of raw materials and products. Considering the availability of these raw materials, the results showed significant opportunities that can be exploited in Brazil, within the biorefinery concept. Soybean oil is the main raw material for biodiesel production in Brazil, although there are many other vegetable oils with potential for this purpose. Related to the production costs, the soybean biodiesel has higher costs than diesel. Then, this biofuel is only produced due to Brazilian regulatory rules and public subsidies. In order to become this production favorable in the market environment, it is essential to aggregate value to all byproducts and residues generated along the biodiesel production chain. Glycerin is a byproduct of biodiesel that could be used, in a glycerol biorefinery concept, as raw material for the production of value-added products through chemical, biochemical, or thermochemical routes. © 2014, Schultz et al. All Right Reserved.

Vaz S.,Embrapa Agroenergy
Applied Adhesion Science | Year: 2015

The transition from the current dependence on non-renewable raw materials to biomass as an oil substitute has become a strategic challenge to the twenty-first century. Chemicals have the highest potential to add value on a vegetable biomass chain because of the importance of conventional chemical industry and fine chemical chemistry for different sectors of economy, highlighting compounds that may be used as building blocks, intermediates of synthesis and specialties. This review deals with the economic potential of residual biomass from biodiesel and bioethanol industries as a source of raw material to support the production of renewable chemicals. The focus is on illustrating the perspectives and challenges for the development of a Brazilian renewable chemical industry, considering that Brazil is one of the largest global producers of agro-industrial biomass for several purposes, especially for biofuels. © 2014, Vaz; licensee Springer.

Paes B.G.,University of Brasilia | Almeida J.R.,Embrapa Agroenergy
Applied Adhesion Science | Year: 2015

The development of biorefineries directed to the production of fuels, chemicals and energy is important to reduce economic dependence and environmental impacts of a petroleum-based economy. Microorganisms are essential in several industrial bioprocesses nowadays, and it is expected that new microbial bioprocesses will play a key role in biorefineries. However, the bioconversion process requires a robust and highly productive microorganism. In this scenario, several strategies to genetically improve microorganisms to overcome the bioprocesses challenges have been considered. In this work, we review microorganisms importance in the biorefineries concept, highlight the desirable traits they must hold in order to be employed, and discuss the main strategies to improve such traits. The focuses of this work are on four main targets in the improvement of microorganisms: driving carbon flux towards the desired pathway, increasing tolerance to toxic compounds, increasing substrate uptake range and new products generation. © 2014, Paes and Almeida; licensee Springer.

Alves A.A.,Embrapa Agroenergy | Alves A.A.,Federal University of Viçosa | Guimaraes L.M.S.,Federal University of Viçosa | Chaves A.R.M.,Federal University of Viçosa | And 2 more authors.
Acta Physiologiae Plantarum | Year: 2011

One of the most important diseases of eucalyptus plantations is caused by the rust fungus Puccinia psidii. While the genetic basis of rust resistance has been addressed recently, little is known about the physiological aspects of Eucalyptus-P. psidii interaction. In order to fill this gap, we undertook a study investigating the effects of P. psidii infection on photosynthetic processes of two E. urophylla clones with contrasting resistance to the pathogen. Our results show that gas exchange and chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters were virtually unaffected in the resistant clone. In the susceptible clone, photosynthetic rates were chiefly constrained by biochemical limitations to carbon fixation. Photosynthesis was impaired only in symptomatic tissues since the reductions in photosynthetic rates were proportional to the diseased leaf area. Rust infection provoked chronic photoinhibition to photosynthesis in the susceptible clone. Overall, differences in the ability for light capture, use and dissipation may play a significant role in explaining the clonal differences in Eucalyptus in response to P. psidii infection. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the effect of rust infection on gas exchange and chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters in Eucalyptus. © 2011 Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków.

Bhering L.L.,Federal University of Viçosa | Barrera C.F.,Federal University of Viçosa | Ortega D.,Federal University of Viçosa | Laviola B.G.,Embrapa Agroenergy | And 3 more authors.
Industrial Crops and Products | Year: 2013

The objective of this paper was to (i) estimate genetic parameters for important physic nut (Jatropha curcas L.) traits, and to using these parameters (ii) predict the genetics gains with the selection of superior genotypes using different selection procedures. It was among the objectives of this paper to (iii) compare the efficiency of the different selection methods in order to identify the most suited to be applied in the physic nut breeding program. Broad sense heritabilities in the level of families were elevated (superior to 60% for yield for example) indicating that there are good prospects for the selection of superior genotypes. Combined selection (CS) provided the highest genetic gain (99.3%), followed by the stratified mass selection (SMS), selection among and within families (SAWF) and mass selection (MS). The number of selected families followed the inverse order indicating that the methods that generate the highest gains may deplete the genetic variability of the breeding population faster than the methods that provide intermediate gains. Considering, however, that the demand for improved physic nut cultivars is increasing each year in Brazil and considering that physic nut genetic basis in Brazil is already considered to be low, the addition of more diversity to breeding population will be needed, regardless of the selection procedure employed. Therefore, on the basis of the predicted genetic gains, CS seems to be more suited than other methods for rapid improvement of the species. Based on this strategy, genotypes with enhanced productivity, may be successfully selected in the Brazilian physic nut population and tested in expanded trials to be released as improved physic nut cultivars. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Rosado T.B.,Embrapa Agroenergy | Laviola B.G.,Embrapa Agroenergy | Faria D.A.,EMBRAPA - Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária | Pappas M.R.,EMBRAPA - Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária | And 5 more authors.
Crop Science | Year: 2010

The genetic diversity of a comprehensive germplasm collection involving 192 Jatropha curcas L. accessions collected throughout Brazil, spanning a wide latitudinal range from the states of Maranhão (1°49' S, 44°52' W) to Rio Grande do Sul (29°33' S, 55°07' W), was studied with 96 random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) primers and six selected microsatellite markers. Only 23 of the 381 replicated RAPD markers and one microsatellite were polymorphic. Surprisingly, all accessions were homozygous at all but one microsatellite, in contrast with the outcrossing mating system reported for the species, suggesting that J. curcas not only supports selfing but possibly breeds by geitonogamy. Similarity based clustering revealed only 43 unique multilocus profiles in the 192 accessions. The probabilities of accessions with indistinguishable multilocus profiles being true duplicates varied between 83 and 99%. No relationship between clustering of accessions and geographic origin was observed, suggesting that J. curcas has experienced a widespread dispersion across regions by seeds and possibly vegetative propagules. The narrow genetic base and extent of potentially duplicated accessions likely reflects a recent common ancestry, drift, and intensive selection of the currently cultivated materials since the time of introduction. This result highlights an urgent need for the introduction of new and diverse accessions to this germplasm collection if Brazil is to drive and sustain successful breeding programs. © Crop Science Society of America.

Bergmann J.C.,Catholic University of Brasília | Tupinamba D.D.,Catholic University of Brasília | Costa O.Y.A.,Catholic University of Brasília | Almeida J.R.M.,Embrapa Agroenergy | And 2 more authors.
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2013

Renewable biofuels are increasingly important in the Brazilian energy matrix. In 2010, the country became the second world producer of biodiesel with a production of 2.4 million of m3 in that year, only behind Germany. In 2011, both the United States and Argentina increased production and now Brazil is the fourth world producer of biodiesel. The Brazilian biodiesel production federal program has been designed so that small family farmers, as well as large agribusiness operations, are encouraged to produce vegetable oil crops for biodiesel production. Brazil is the second largest world producer of soybeans, currently the main feedstock used for biodiesel production in the country. Due to the increasing demand for biodiesel and low oil productivity from soybean, Brazil is searching for alternative oilseed crops from which biodiesel can be produced. In this review, the current scenario for biodiesel production in Brazil is discussed, as well as vegetable oil crops that are being considered as potential biodiesel feedstocks in addition to soybeans. Brazil's biodiesel industry is currently operating only at 47% of its capacity. Therefore, it is expected that biodiesel production in Brazil will further increase. Due to the size of the country's bioethanol and biodiesel industries, Brazil can already be considered one of the world powers in sustainable biofuel production, an strategic area of the world's emerging bio-based economy. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Duraes F.O.M.,Embrapa Agroenergy | Laviola B.G.,Embrapa Agroenergy | Alves A.A.,Embrapa Agroenergy
CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources | Year: 2011

Fossil-derived fuels currently supply 86% of the world's energy, even though it represents a finite resource. With the aim of reducing the fossil fuels dependency, alternative sources of energy have been pursued in recent years. In view of the urgent need to develop new technologies that may enable environmentally friendly forms of energy to become widespread, biofuels in general and biodiesel in particular are receiving considerable attention throughout the world and especially in Brazil. Given the high quality of its oil, which meets the rapeseed quality standard and can be easily converted into biodiesel, and because of its wide adaptability, physic nut has been considered a potential crop to serve as feedstock for biodiesel production. Popular claims, e.g. enhanced drought tolerance, low nutrient requirements, pest and disease resistance, have also helped to increase the expectations of the crop, even though most of these claims are yet to be supported by scientific evidence. However, the fact is that besides its advantageous characteristics, physic nut cultivation is challenging as it is a quasi-undomesticated species. In that context, this review seeks to demonstrate the physic nut potential as a biofuel crop, highlighting, however, the challenges to its wide adoption as a fuel crop. Despite facing enormous challenges (as detailed below), our cautiously optimistic vision is that a substantial and focused research programme may make physic nut a viable feedstock for biodiesel production. We detail the Brazilian research initiative that is addressing many of these challenges.

Brasil B.S.A.F.,Embrapa Agroenergy | Silva F.C.P.,Embrapa Agroenergy | Siqueira F.G.,Embrapa Agroenergy
New Biotechnology | Year: 2016

Biorefineries have the potential to meet a significant part of the growing demand for energy, fuels, chemicals and materials worldwide. Indeed, the bio-based industry is expected to play a major role in energy security and climate change mitigation during the 21th century. Despite this, there are challenges related to resource consumption, processing optimization and waste minimization that still need to be overcome. In this context, microalgae appear as a promising non-edible feedstock with advantages over traditional land crops, such as high productivity, continuous harvesting throughout the year and minimal problems regarding land use. Importantly, both cultivation and microalgae processing can take place at the same site, which increases the possibilities for process integration and a reduction in logistic costs at biorefinery facilities. This review describes the actual scenario for microalgae biorefineries integration to the biofuels and petrochemical industries in Brazil, while highlighting the major challenges and recent advances in microalgae large-scale production. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Almeida J.R.M.,Embrapa Agroenergy | Favaro L.C.L.,Embrapa Agroenergy | Quirino B.F.,Embrapa Agroenergy | Quirino B.F.,University of Brasilia
Biotechnology for Biofuels | Year: 2012

The considerable increase in biodiesel production worldwide in the last 5years resulted in a stoichiometric increased coproduction of crude glycerol. As an excess of crude glycerol has been produced, its value on market was reduced and it is becoming a waste-stream instead of a valuable coproduct. The development of biorefineries, i.e. production of chemicals and power integrated with conversion processes of biomass into biofuels, has been singled out as a way to achieve economically viable production chains, valorize residues and coproducts, and reduce industrial waste disposal. In this sense, several alternatives aimed at the use of crude glycerol to produce fuels and chemicals by microbial fermentation have been evaluated. This review summarizes different strategies employed to produce biofuels and chemicals (1,3-propanediol, 2,3-butanediol, ethanol, n-butanol, organic acids, polyols and others) by microbial fermentation of glycerol. Initially, the industrial use of each chemical is briefly presented; then we systematically summarize and discuss the different strategies to produce each chemical, including selection and genetic engineering of producers, and optimization of process conditions to improve yield and productivity. Finally, the impact of the developments obtained until now are placed in perspective and opportunities and challenges for using crude glycerol to the development of biodiesel-based biorefineries are considered. In conclusion, the microbial fermentation of glycerol represents a remarkable alternative to add value to the biodiesel production chain helping the development of biorefineries, which will allow this biofuel to be more competitive. © 2012 Almeida et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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