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Seaweed biofuels set to come out of Brazil

The Brazilian state of Pernambuco will be home to a proposed new biofuels plant that will use seaweed as its feedstock.

The $9.8 million (€7.9 million) plant will be constructed by Austrian-based company SAT at the site of a sugar cane plantation. It will produce up to 1.2 million litres of algae-based biofuels a year by using carbon dioxide created during ethanol production to help speed up the photosynthesis process in the seaweed.

‘For each litre of ethanol produced, one kilogram of CO₂ is released in the atmosphere. We are going to take this to feed our plants,’ says head of SAT Brazilian projects Rafael Bianchini. ‘We’ll initially use 5% of the emissions created from the sugar cane ethanol process, but this will rise in the future.’

The project is still awaiting overall approval from Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency.