Brazil to Build First Big Wheat Ethanol Plant

Brazil to Build First Big Wheat Ethanol Plant
Photo: 15.07.2022 869

The country's first big facility that uses wheat to make ethanol will be built by Brazil's largest biofuel producer BSBios.

Such production will increase, not diminish, food supplies, the BSBios chief executive told Reuters. The factory will also sell dried distillers grains, a by-product of ethanol production used as livestock feed, he said.

Amid a significant increase in food prices, including wheat prices (2 times higher than the established values in the first quarter of 2022), the world is taking measures to stabilize the situation, including initiatives to reduce the content of vegetable raw materials in fuel production, says Mikhail Shikhmuradov, expert of the BRICS Competition Centre. 

Recently, there has been an active discussion in the world on prioritizing food over fuel production. However, the company management is confident that the advantages of ethanol production from wheat are greater than the disadvantages.

"I want them [people] to say: you are helping to increase the supply of meat, milk and eggs and making food cheaper through this project", 

noted BSBios CEO Erasmo Battistella.

Mikhail Shikhmuradov considers the comments of the BSBios head to be fair.

"Indeed, the use of dried distilled grains, a byproduct of production that can be used as feed, can ultimately increase the overall food supply," 

confirms the expert.

The factory will process 1,500 tonnes of cereals per day to annually produce 58.117 million gallons of ethanol (anhydrous or hydrated) and 155,000 tonnes of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) for animal feed. 

48.6% of bioethanol feedstock content is corn, 36% and 31% of biodiesel feedstock content is rapeseed and palm oils

BSBios' project will expand wheat output, reduce dependence on imports and create an even bigger domestic market for the cereal, Battistella is convinced.

BSBios' facility should go on-stream in the second half of 2024 in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil's southernmost state and the country's biggest wheat producer.

Brazil is forecast to produce a record 9 million-tonne crop this year. BSBios will produce 111 million liters (29.3 million gallons) of ethanol in the project's first phase.

Brazil is also relying on research to boost "tropical wheat" in Brazil's Cerrado biome. There, in partnership with Argentina, they have recently begun testing a variety of drought resistant, genetically modified wheat.

agricultural markets  food markets  Brazil 

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