Biofuels have been presented as an alternative for oil products in the transport sector, motivated mainly by nations’ energy security, the necessity of mitigation of greenhouse gases emissions and by the opportunity to induce rural development through biofuels production (i.e., jobs creation, better living conditions, and so forth).

Gradually, a consensus is being created that the production and consumption of biofuels should generate real benefits to humankind, either considering environmental or socio-economic aspects. It is desired that biofuels should minimize environmental impacts, both at local and global levels, and should bring socio-economic benefits to the social segments directly related to its production.

The debate towards sustainability of biofuels production and their use has reached a global dimension and Brazil has an important role to assume. Brazil is the worldwide leader in large-scale production of fuel ethanol from sugarcane and one of the few countries to have potential to significativelly expand its production for export. However, it is the effective sustainability of the ethanol supply chain that may boost the Brazilian comparative advantages, which result from its long experience in producing this renewable fuel and favorable conditions regarding production factors.

The Bioethanol Science and Technology Center (Centro de Ciência e Tecnologia do Bioetanol - CTBE) must contribute for keeping Brazilian leadership regarding sustainable production of bioethanol from sugarcane, through state-of-the-art research, development, and innovation. Sustainability is an essential topic to guide CTBE’s actions. Nowadays, CTBE focuses on the implementation of no-tillage farming of sugarcane, on the development of second-generation ethanol technology based on the biochemical route and on the development of a tool able to analyze new industrial technologies.

The Workshop on the Impact of New Technologies on the Sustainability of the Sugarcane/Bioethanol Production Cycle is one of the CTBE’s activities to ensure the reduction of negative impacts and the enlargement of benefits related to the sustainability of the production and use of Brazilian ethanol. The main purposes of this event are listed below:

(i) evaluation of essential aspects in the debate regarding sustainability of biofuels (with focus on the Brazilian ethanol production from sugarcane);
(ii) identification of the state-of-the-art knowledge and Brazilian scientific and technical expertise;
(iii) discussion of sustainability criteria and the methodologies for their evaluation, focusing on the new technologies for bioethanol production;
(iv) discussion and possible definition of priorities and actions on RD&I to guarantee the effective sustainability along the ethanol supply chain.

In summary, this Workshop aims at identifying different points of view of the main bioethanol stakeholders in Brazil, presenting a preliminary CTBE’s proposal on sustainability and finally helping CTBE to define a strategy on how to act, on this subject, as a National Laboratory.


An initiative:


Centro de Ciência e Tecnologia do Bioetanol (CTBE) - Operated by ABTLuS for the Ministry of Science and Technology / CNPq
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