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GE, Petrobras Test Ethanol Use In Gas Turbine

Posted on January 19, 2010

GE Energy and Petrobras have announced the use of sugarcane-based ethanol in a gas turbine system to produce electricity in use at the Juiz de Fora power plant in Brazil. The Juiz de Fora Power Plant is a simple-cycle, natural gas plant with a total capacity of 87 MW, located approximately 180 km north of Rio de Janeiro. The plant has two GE LM6000 gas turbines, one of whose combustors has been modified by GE to enable the use of ethanol, making it dual-fuel (ethanol and natural gas).

Ethanol derived from sugarcane in Brazil is one of the most efficient biofuels in terms of energy balance and carbon emissions. The benefits of this alternative fuel are substantial: it is a renewable energy source and its combustion reduces atmospheric emissions, especially NOX.

Brazil will benefit from incorporating ethanol into its thermal generation profile because of the abundant fuel supply. The country's 35-year, large-scale experience in ethanol use is based on efficient agricultural technology for sugarcane cultivation, producing 26.9 billion L in 2008, according to data provided by the Federal Government.

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