Giant Carajas Grass (Elephant Grass) represents the state of the art agribusiness from both agricultural and industrial perspectives. Intense research and years of market experience have brought Elephant Grass into a high degree of efficacy in achieving high yield biomass production.
Embrapa (the Brazilian Agriculture and Livestock Research Company) and Matsuda (a company with considerable expertise in seeds and plant genetics) have developed Elephant Grass to a point where it is possible to achieve from 40 to 80 tonnes of dry mass per hectare, per year. The crop is fully established after 6 months.
This is a high yield Giant Carajas Grass plantation project, benefiting from short, medium and long-term profits secured with leasehold land titles. ECB’s professional plantation management team is led by the Agribusiness Director Carlos Duarte, along with highly skilled agronomy engineering from third party technology suppliers Netafim (the Israeli irrigation experts, present in some 83 countries), Matsuda (seeds and plant genetics), Eletrovale (turnkey irrigation and infrastructure provider) and IFCE (a renowned local agronomy school).
In the “Tabuleiros de Russas” Irrigated District, all infrastructures, facilities and licensing are already in place, as well as a water guarantee: in average, ECB land has 1.3 liters per second per hectare available each 24hrs.
The project is located on the border of a main asphalted road (BR116) directly connecting Ceará with all the major cities in Brazil, such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Giant Carajas Grass (Elephant grass) enjoys a wide variety of applications apropos at least five consolidated and growing markets: these being mainly, though not exclusively, centered on Brazil, Europe and the US:
· Animal feedstock
Elephant grass varieties are commonly used in a cut-and carry system which makes for a feedstock that can be fed in stalls as it is highly palatable at the leaf stage. It can also be made into high quality silage with the use of additives.
· Biomass pellets and briquettes
Elephant Grass achieves 40-80 tonnes of dry mass per hectare per year (TDM/ha/y) which a much higher yield when compared to Eucalyptus (mainly used in Brazil to produce cellulose and charcoal). Eucalyptus delivers up to 20 (TDM/ha/y).
· Activated carbon
Activated carbon can also be made out of Elephant Grass biomass. There are various types: fine powder, pills or flakes. Activated carbon is used to bleach and absorb odor in sugar industry, to produce cooking oil in food industry and also for water purification. It also has a variety applications, including in gas-purifying industries, where it is found in air purifiers and poisonous gas preventers.
Applying second generation cellulosic technologies make it possible to obtain up to 100 us gallons of bio-fuels per each tonne of dry mass. With Elephant Grass biomass yields, over 15.000 liters of bio-ethanol, per hectare, per year, can be achieved.
Giant Carajas Grass, a high-yield dedicated energy crop operates as a low carbon, renewable replacement for coal to generate electricity and heat and as a nonfood feedstock for second-generation liquid biofuels that can act to replace fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel fuel.
Energy Crops Brazil also manufactures and sells Giant Carajas Grass Pellets.
Biomass is carbon neutral. It is a renewable energy source that comes from plant material such as Giant Carajas Grass. Photosynthesis converts solar energy and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into plant material. Burning plant material in a power plant releases the carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere, but it is reabsorbed again when the next crop grows making the process carbon neutral.
Biomass is an important renewable energy source for both developing and industrialized countries. Heavy dependence on coal and imported petroleum has led to a major increase in global carbon dioxide emissions and to significant geopolitical, economic and environmental issues.
Giant Carajas Grass can be burned-either directly or in pellet form as a replacement for coal or oil in electric-power plants to produce low-carbon electricity and useful heat. It can also be used to produce bio methane in anaerobic digesters.
Giant Carajas Grass can be used as a feedstock to make Grassoline, liquid transportation biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol, butanol and green gasoline and to produce biochemical and bio- plastics.
Giant Carajas Grass is a non-food crop and can be grown on marginal lands which are not used for growing food. Utilizing food crops to produce biofuel is discouraged in almost all countries around the globe.
Giant Carajas Grass is low cost because of its extremely high yield and meets the cost targets of green energy applications. Electricity produced from burning Giant Carajas Grass comes at roughly a quarter of the cost of electricity from solar energy and half the cost of wind energy. Furthermore, Giant Carajas Grass and other biomass power plants can operate 24 hours a day, whereas solar and wind produce electricity only when it is sunny or windy.
Giant Carajas Grass pellets can be used to replace up to 20% of coal in existing power plants. This reduces carbon emissions by 20% while preserving the large capital investment and allows power companies to meet carbon dioxide emissions reduction requirements over the next 10 to 30 years.
ADVANCED COMPANY KNOWHOW AND TECHNOLOGY:
Energy Crops Brazil is focusing its efforts on two complementary areas of research and operation:
a) The production of Giant Carajas Grass, a high yield energy crop, combined with
b) Cost efficient industrial processing into Biomass Pellets.
For this purpose, direct and extensive cooperation on technological research is being developed with relevant research institutions including:
· EMBRAPA (the worldwide operating Brazilian Research Company on Agriculture and Livestock)
· Matsuda (the renowned research and commercial company on seeds and plants genetics)
· UECE (Ceará State University)
· FAEC (Federation of Agriculture in Ceará State)
· UFP (Piauí Federal University)
· IFCE (Federal Institute of Ceará, linked with agriculture know-how within “Tabuleiro de Russas” Irrigated District)
· IPT (Institute for Technological Research, from Vicente Mazzarella, in São Paulo).
· Verde Vida (environmental engineering)