May 2019: CTBE is now LNBR – Brazilian Biorenewables National Laboratory
In 2005, the Brazilian government, through the Center for Management and Strategic Studies (CGEE), commissioned exploratory research to the Interdisciplinary Nucleus of Energy Planning (NIPE/UNICAMP) to identify limiting factors in the Brazilian ethanol production. The physicist Rogério Cezar de Cerqueira Leite coordinated a group of about 30 researchers from several institutions to conduct a three-year study “Renewable Energies: Sugarcane Ethanol”.
The focus was on the impact of new agricultural and industrial technologies on the production of ethanol from sugarcane and on corresponding environmental, societal, macroeconomic and logistic assessments. The results indicated that there are technological bottlenecks to be overcome and the need to deepen the scientific and technological knowledge associated with ethanol production. These findings fueled discussions about the creation of a research center that would aggregate Brazilian research groups to address the bottlenecks of ethanol production.
Construction of the Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (CTBE) began in early 2009, under the leadership of prof. Marco Aurélio Garcia. Its inauguration took place in 2010, becoming fully operational in 2012. For nearly a decade, CTBE has developed and continues to develop R&D partnerships with the sugar-energy industry and other industrial partners.
In 2018, CTBE was repositioned to reinforce CNPEM’s research agenda aiming at establishing new partnerships with the industrial biotechnology sector. In addition, the Laboratory has deepened its integration processes, seeking joint solutions with the other National Laboratories that comprise the Center.
As an element of the strategy, in 2019 CTBE became the Brazilian Biorenewables National Laboratory (LNBR). The change reflects new challenges: going beyond advanced biofuels and acting in biochemicals and biomaterials.
Currently, LNBR develops joint research with external partners, provides access to its facilities to scientific and technological communities and supports innovation through partnerships with private companies. Users from Brazil and abroad have access to advanced instrumentation and receive scientific and technical support, as well as training associated with the production, characterization, and conversion of biomass into value-added products.
LNBR seeks to address the global challenges of sustainable development. The objective is to allow the production of economically viable and scalable biorenewables with minimal impact on the food chain, water use, land use and the environment.