Starting this month, Adecoagro, one of the main food and renewable energy producers in South America, replaces fossil fuels with bio-CNG in 13 fleet vehicles in its sugar processing facility in Ivinhema (Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil): seven light-duty, three commercial vehicles and three trucks. This renewable fuel derives from the biogas released from vinasse, a byproduct of the ethanol production of the company’s sugar activity. This innovation results from its partnership with Galileo Technologies, a company that operates in 70 countries, focused on offering clean energies solutions from gaseous fuels.
During the first stage and from 5% of the concentrated vinasse, 7.06 million of standard cubic feet (MMSCF) of bio-CNG will be produced monthly to substitute the consumption of 44,900 gallons of diesel through the Microbox-BioTM biogas upgrading and biomethane compression station developed by Galileo Technologies. The goal is to use the totality of that vinasse in the future to reach a bio-CNG production equivalent to 13.2 million gallons of diesel annually. Besides increasing sustainability along the whole sugar production in Adecoagro, diesel displacement would improve the food company classification in the official Brazilian program RenovaBio, which would allow further income through the emission of decarbonization credits (CBios).
As part of their joint projects, Adecoagro and Galileo Technologies evaluate the construction of a biomethane-based hydrogen (H2) producing plant in Ivinhema. An H-PatagoniaTM hydrogen fueling station for fuel-cell propelled vehicles (FCVs) would complement the initiative. This will be a worldwide milestone, since the hydrogen supply will be 100% renewable in its entire life cycle – this is, originated from biomass and free of CO2 emissions in its production, distribution and exhaust emissions which are in turn reduced to water vapor.
“We trust the results we will achieve with the whole project due to the circular economy size. We will generate energy out of solid (bagasse), liquid (ethanol) and gaseous (biomethane) sources, besides harvesting all the benefits of vinasse as mineral fertilizer. The advantages are many: 100% renewable process, self-sufficiency, energetic safety, emissions reduction and a higher RenovaBio classification. This transformation in the sugar-energy sector contributes to the global transition towards the future of carbon (emissions) reduction”, said Renato Junqueira Santos Pereira, Adecoagro Vice-President of Sugar, Ethanol and Energy.
“According to the United Nations, food production generates 40% of methane emissions in the planet with a potential effect over global warming 28 to 36 times greater than carbon dioxide. This means we can cease to use fossil fuels, which represent 35% of methane emissions, but still, if we do not consider farm activities -as well as organic waste emissions, which contribute to 20%- we will keep a great heat retention agent. Our goal with this project is to eliminate this type of emissions from the environment to offer carbon-negative energy”, highlighted Osvaldo del Campo, Galileo Technologies CEO.
“The goal and integration level of both companies is ground-breaking in bio-CNG and so will be in the hydrogen green production. This gas holds promise, since its consumption only emits water vapor, but only 0.1% of the hydrogen available globally is obtained from renewable sources and without releasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Here, we seek to contribute with a completely clean hydrogen from source to consumption”, added del Campo.
Source: Galileo Technologies