Sustainability Transition in the Brazilian Bioethanol: the role of Oil Companies

TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture welcomes all interested to this talk by André Furtado. On Tuesday he will talk about the transition to second generation technologies in the Brazilian bioethanol industry.

Sugarcane as biomass

The talk will be about the transition of the Brazilian bioethanol technological innovation system from the first generation to second generation technologies. Sugarcane is one the most promising biomass feedstock for biofuels. However, to take advantage of its potential, this technological system has to become more sustainable, bypass several obstacles as land competition with food crops and land deforestation.

The second-generation biofuels technologies are presently an important promise that can deal with several of these challenges. In effect, sugarcane culture is facing growing difficulties to increase its productivity, due to the exhaustion of the first generation technologies. During long time, these technologies were the engine of technological change in Brazil. At that point, the transition to second-generation technologies, including agricultural modern biotech and enzymatic hydrolysis for industrial process, are great promises that can improve bioethanol land productivity.

Theoretical Approach

The theoretical approach of this research is related to technological innovation systems literature. In the Brazilian case, oil companies are important entrepreneurial actors in this transition. They are engaged in the first generation bioethanol and are protagonist of some of the experiences related second generation technologies. We will focus in this seminar the foreign oil companies and Petrobras strategies related to first and second generation technologies. We also will describe the strategies of pubic actors associated to bioethanol and to energy transition in Brazil.

André Furtado

André Furtado is full Professor at the Science and Technology Policy Department of the Geosciences Institute of the University of Campinas, Brazil. He has made his undergraduate and graduate studies in economics at the University of Paris I. His specialty is in the innovation studies of the energy sector particularly of the oil and bioethanol industries. He has published about the oil innovation system in France and about Petrobras technological trajectory in deep offshore. He has made also an economic impact evaluation of Petrobras deep offshore technological program. More recently, he has been concerned about the Brazilian bioethanol innovation system. Now he is developing a research about the transition to second generation technologies in the Brazilian bioethanol industry at the Copernicus Institute in the University of Utrecht.

Published May 10, 2019 9:51 AM - Last modified May 10, 2019 9:51 AM