Brazil has a new line of generators, engines and motorized pumps that, apart from not using fossil fuels, operate using biogas, a product generated from animal droppings. Two years ago, Cia Caetano Branco launched the project, granting a nobler end to a product that would pollute the environment.
With 100% Brazilian technology, Bio Soluções already represents 3% of the company revenues, which ended 2009 at over 100 million Brazilian reais (US$ 56.6 million).
The generators may be used for environmental lighting, the heating of mills, and drying grain, among other functions. To feed the devices, farmers need to build a biodigester, which is a covered warehouse where the droppings are treated for 30 to 35 days. Within this process, biogas is produced, which is accumulated and becomes the fuel for the generator.
According to Marcelo Utrabo, CEO at Cia Caetano Branco, the time for return to investment varies from one to two years. To him, however, the economy goes beyond the elimination of expenses with common fuel, as producers end up using droppings that were previously disposed of. “I threw it out, and now I am going to use it,” said Utrabo regarding the transformation of excrement into biogas.
Apart from that, the process of decomposition of droppings in the biodigesters generates leachate, a liquid that may be used as a bio-fertilizer. As it is rich in nitrogen, it eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers in several crops. Another advantage of the natural fertilizer is that it provides greater productivity to the crop and avoids rejection of the pasture by cattle.
Within the same line, the company has also developed flex products, which operate using biogas or alcohol, like generator B4T – 10.000 Bioflex, the first small biofuel equipment in Brazil, with maximum power of 10,000 watts.
“There is greater flexibility in the use of the equipment, which represents economy in agribusiness and also in urban centers, being usable in homes, schools, events and in civil construction,” pointed out Utrabo.
The executive also points out that, as the device uses renewable fuel, less corrosive, it presents greater durability than common engines. “It has double the working life of what we had in the current system [fueled by diesel].”
On the foreign market, the line is already exported to countries in Latin America. Utrabo explains that the company is also developing a project for generators that may be fueled by gasoline or biogas for use on Lake Titicaca, on both sides, in Bolivia and Peru.
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