Brazil has potential to increase biofuel plantations sixfold

State-run agricultural research firm Embrapa states Brazil can increase planted areas for bioenergy sixfold without removing rainforest.

Manoel Texeira Souza, general manager, Embrapa, said at BNamericas' 11th Southern Cone Energy Summit that as much as 50 million hectares were available for future growth.

'If we can transfer 20% or 30% of that land into new [plantations] we will exceed our bioenergy goals without needing to chop down a single tree,' says Souza.

In September this year, Brazilian biofuel producer GranBio started operations of second generation ethanol at its Bioflex 1 plant using straw and sugarcane bagasse as its primary feedstock.

'Increasing the area is one way to go and increasing productivity is the other,' says Souza.

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