24/01/23 |   Agroenergy  Research, Development and Innovation  Low Carbon Agriculture

Bioeconomy in Brazil can generate US$ 284 billion in revenue per annum

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Photo: Murilo Fazolin

Murilo Fazolin - Essential oils like spiked pepper's (an abundant plant in Amazon states) have broad industrial applications ranging from agricultural segments (e.g. biopesticides) to food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.

Essential oils like spiked pepper's (an abundant plant in Amazon states) have broad industrial applications ranging from agricultural segments (e.g. biopesticides) to food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries.

  • Study in partnership with Embrapa considered different trajectories to Brazil until 2050.
  • Specialists evaluated three potential scenarios of bioeconomy as a complement to energy transition.
  • Potential scenario of bioeconomy is essential for the document that predicts the intense adoption of biorenewable technologies.
  • Full implementation of bioeconomy in Brazil can generate additional industrial revenues of US$ 284 billion per year.
  • Emissions could be reduced by around 550 million tons of CO2eq.


An unprecedented survey estimates that the implementation of the bioeconomy in Brazil could generate an annual industrial revenue of US$ 284 billion by 2050. That is the amount the country can achieve by performing the so-called full implementation of the bioeconomy, which encompasses three fronts: current policies to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the country, the consolidation of biomass as main energy source in important sectors of the economy, and the intensification of biorenewable technologies. 

 Entitled Identificação das Oportunidades e o Potencial do Impacto da Bioeconomia para a Descarbonização do Brasil (Identification of Opportunities and the Potential of the Bioeconomy Impact to Brazil’s Decarbonization), the study is a result of the partnership among Brazilian BioInnovation Association (ABBI), Embrapa Agroenergy, Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials (LNBR/CNPEM), Technology Center for the Chemical and Textile Industries of SENAI (Senai/CETIQT), and Center for Energy and Environmental Economics (Cenergia/UFRJ).

The document analyses different trajectories for Brazil by 2050, proposing three potential scenarios for the bioeconomy in the Brazilian context of energy transition, considering the intense adoption of the bioeconomy as an essential part for the transition. 

The first scenario, called “Current Policies”, considers the maintenance of the present Brazilian policies and concerns the country´s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), established in the Paris Agreement.  

The second scenario, “Below 2oC”, sees biomass as the most important source of energy to implement low carbon technologies in the main sectors of Brazilian economy, also accomplishing Paris Agreement. Its specific objective is to define below 2oC as the upper limit for global warming until the end of the century. 

The third and last scenario, named “Bioeconomy Potential”, proposes that bioeconomy and energy transition complement each other and are responsible for promising biorenewable technologies in “Below 2oC” scenario.

“The study quantifies bioeconomy in scenarios of energy transition and evaluates how technologies generated by the low-carbon circular economy can complement energy transition in production chains”, affirms Alexandre Alonso, head of Embrapa Agroenergy. “We try to develop more effective productive processes and those that use less inputs and energy, strongly based on biotechnology”, says Alonso. 

Besides Alonso, the researcher and former president of Embrapa, Maurício Lopes, also participated in the study. According to Lopes, Brazil has conditions of designing a specific agriculture dedicated to biomass and able to provide an innovative and competitive bioindustrial sector.

“Bioeconomy has advantages in the complex equation of sustainability, since it is capable of combining, in a synergetic way, natural resources, as biomass, and advanced technologies in a production model with biologic, clean, and renewable basis, promoting synergy among the following industries: energy, food, chemical, materials, and others”, he says. 

Pictured above on the left: Goreti Braga - Cyanobacteria that are basis for bioiput

Solutions and technologies  

One of the main contributions of the study is the list of solutions that increase agriculture yield, liberate areas to be reused by energy crops, and reduce GHG emissions during the productive process.

The study focused on bioinnovation both in existing and in development industries, in order to estimate investment and income values. It also concentrated in sectors with greater potential of GHG mitigation.  

Regarding “solutions to sustainable intensification of agriculture”, the following were evaluated: technologies of alternative proteins, solutions for cattle confinement, carbon sequestration in soils, new high-yield vegetable varieties, biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), and biological control. All solutions referring to optimization of land use and production of biomass with low carbon emissions or even negative emissions. 

Concerning “solutions to convert biomass into energy-based products”, the technologies assessed were the ones using biomass for the production of low-carbon energy or even negative GHG emissions, presenting greater market scale, as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), carbon capture and utilization (CCU), second-generation ethanol and biogas.

Finally, solutions to convert biomass into high added value bioproducts, which are important to substitute fossil-based products and establish financial resources to build biorefineries. In this regard, there are the technologies related to production of biochemicals, enzymes, biofertilizers, biomaterials, bionaphtha and advanced biofuels.

“The technologies reflect the need for the process to adapt to different sources of biomass, which reinforces the modular nature of biorefineries and the different possible kinds of organization within the same production plant”, the report mentions.


Pictured above on the right: Vivian Chies - Enzymes and yeast to produce ethanol from sugarcane biomass

Pictured on the left: Evandro Carlos Barros - Production and use of biogas and fertilizers from swine and poultry waste treatment

Bioeconomy can reduce carbon emissions

According to the publication, the scenarios “Below 2o C” and “Bioeconomy Potential” indicate that especially due to the enormous growth of biofuels, biochemicals, and other products from biological sources in Brazil, emissions could be reduced in around 550 million tons of CO2eq.

However, the development of the scenario “Bioeconomy Potential” depends on public policies that consider the Brazilian particularities and competitive advantages in a transition context to a low-carbon economy, warns the report.

“The study is the result of a broad effort among organizations that are reference in research and bioinnovation in Brazil. In the study, we could highlight the environmental, economic, and social opportunities created by the development of advanced bioeconomy in Brazil. We hope the results encourage public and private agents to create green economy policies in our country”, comments Thiago Falda, executive president of ABBI.

Pictured above on the right: Bruno Laviola - physic nut

Irene Santana (MTb 11.354/DF)
Embrapa Agroenergy

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With contributions from ABBI
Embrapa Agroenergy

Translation: Ana Maranhão
Superintendency of Communications

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