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Usina do Paraná improves and bets on the production of ethanol from corn

Written by Valdemar Medeiros
Published 31/01/2022 às 09:10
Plant - Paraná - ethanol - ethanol production - corn
Plant in Jandaia do Sul bets on the production of ethanol from corn. — Photo: Playback/RPC

With the lack of sugarcane for fuel production in Paraná, a plant decided to “innovate” and produce ethanol from corn. It's about 400 thousand liters daily

Due to the severe drought that occurred in the last sugarcane harvest, a plant in Paraná, more precisely in Jandaia do Sul, decided to innovate and produce ethanol from corn. Of the 19 fuel plants in the state, this is the only one that continues its production, the rest take advantage of the sugarcane off-season to carry out equipment maintenance.

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Corn-based ethanol plant has great efficiency

Fernando Fernandes Nardini, president of the plant in Paraná, says that it is only possible to produce the fuel now due to a structure that was set up 4 years ago. Nardini points out that the plant took advantage of various pieces of equipment, which were previously used to process ethanol from sugarcane, to now produce ethanol from corn.

Therefore, it is a completely different plant, but managing to reach an efficiency as good as the plants that are dedicated only to corn, and in the Paraná unit there is still the possibility of making ethanol from both products, sugarcane and corn alcohol.

Located in a region full of crops, the Paraná ethanol plant buys its raw material from independent or cooperative producers. The amount of corn received per day is large, considering that there is no cane to be ground. Fernando explains that there have been units stopped since September of last year, and his plant continues to operate, even with lower production.

Learn how ethanol from corn is produced

See how corn ethanol can guarantee income to the producer – Reproduction/Youtube – Canal Rural

The corn grains are taken to the plant to be ground and soon after they undergo chemical treatment, fermentation and distillation until they become ethanol. The plant is capable of grinding up to 600 tons a day and, with each ton, it is possible to produce around 400 liters of fuel.

With sugarcane, production is around 80 liters. In addition to having a greater production, ethanol from corn still requires fewer employees. In sugarcane milling, 300 workers are needed and in corn, only 100 workers.

However, despite the aforementioned advantages, the profit margin of ethanol from corn at the Paraná plant is still lower. In corn, the average is around 7%, while in sugarcane this figure rises to 40% and this is due to the high price of a sack of corn.

Ethanol production could reach the mark of 29,2 billion liters this year

The National Supply Company estimates that ethanol production in the country will reach the mark of 29,2 billion liters in the 2021/2022 harvest. Of that number, about 3 billion will come from corn.

This number is equivalent to an increase of almost 30% compared to the same period last year, which demonstrates the interest of other plants, in addition to the one in Paraná.

During the manufacture of ethanol by the two raw materials, a lot of heat is needed, which is generated from the burning of biomass. In a hybrid plant like this one, there is no problem, as the sugarcane and corn bagasse itself can be the fuel for the boiler. The leftovers from corn processing are transformed into WDG, a kind of wet bran, with a high protein content, which is widely used in animal nutrition.

Valdemar Medeiros

Journalist in training, specialist in creating content with a focus on SEO actions. Writes about the Automotive Industry, Renewable Energy and Science and Technology

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