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Centre for Integrated Energy Research

PhD Student Visits Brazil for Research Collaborations

Patrick Mason, a PhD student in Professor Jenny Jones' biomass combustion research group, visited various institutions in São Paulo state, Brazil in December. Along with Gunnar Gonzalez and Heller Barosso from the energy company EBX, the first visit was to the Vignis agronomy research plantation in Santo Antonio do Posse. Vignis develop and produce "Energy Cane" cultivars - a high fibre variety of sugar cane which provides a much higher total energy yield but lower sugar yield compared to conventional sugar crops. The host was research director Prof Sizou Matsuoka.

The second visit was to the University of São Paulo, São Carlos where Patrick was invited by Prof Paula Crnkovic and Prof Josmar Pagliusoto to present some recent work on biomass combustion at the School of Engineering. The third visit was to the São Martinho sugar mill in Prodopolis. The plant is one of the largest in the world and processes 10 million tonnes of sugar cane per year, producing 0.7 million tonnes of sugar and 400 million litres of ethanol. Patrick, along with Profs Pagliuso and Crnkovic were hosted by José Ferracin and shown around the new power plant at the site which burns the bagasse (cane fibre residue) to generate 80MW of power.