CTBE’s organizational structure comprises three scientific divisions, in addition to a managerial division. They are described below:
Sugarcane Biomass Production Division (Leader: Henrique Coutinho Junqueira Franco)
This division undertakes research and development of technologies focusing on costs, productivity, and environmental impacts of the production of sugarcane and complementary raw materials. To achieve these goals, the CTBE works with innovations in machining processes and precision crop management, supported by emerging resources from engineering, plant physiology, and molecular biology.
This division comprises the Biomass Production Management, Agricultural Mechanical Processes (MEC), and Biomass Physiology and Molecular Biology groups.
Bioethanol Production Division
This division undertakes research and development of biomass (sugarcane and complementary crops) processing technologies for bioethanol, with an emphasis on second generation (2G). The division also works with conversion technologies for green chemical products, electricity, sugars, and other biofuels.
This division comprises the Biomass Processing Biotechnology, Biomass Processing Physicochemistry, and Biomass Processing Scale-Up groups.
Green Chemistry Division
Sugarcane is the most important source of raw materials for developing renewable processes and turning traditional sugar, ethanol and power mills in a true bio-refinery. CTBE’s Green Chemistry division develops routes based on chemical catalysis, biotechnology and a combination of those approaches. Based on this, metabolic engineering and systems biology tools are used to build biological platforms for developing biotechnological routes from second generation sugars to added value metabolites. Hemicelulose, Cellulose and lignin fractionation processes have been optimized to develop process conversion of these raw materials into building blocks like furfural, hydroximethyfurfural, g-valerolactone and low molecular weight aromatics by chemical catalysis routes.
Integrated Assessment of Sugarcane Biorefineries Division (Leader: Antonio Bonomi)
This division undertakes technological assessment of the biomass (sugarcane and complementary crops) production and processing. It employs a simulation platform that integrates the entire production chain, manufacturing, and logistics chain and the use of these biomass-derived products. Professionals evaluate sustainability impacts arising from the introduction of new technologies in the context of a biorefinery.
This division comprises the Agricultural Modeling and Simulation, Industrial Modeling and Simulation, and Sustainability Assessment Methodologies groups.
The CTBE research topics are divided into a hierarchical structure comprising programs, subprograms, projects, and subprojects. There are three types of programs: Operation and Maintenance Program (POM), Institutional Refresh Programs (PAIs) and Internal Thematic Programs (PTIs). The POM comprises the laboratories and general infrastructure operation, PAIs are linked to the new infrastructure developments, and PTIs are specifically related to the development of thematic research projects.
Currently, there are three PTIs in our organizational structure: Sugarcane Biomass Production (subprograms of Technology Production and Sustainability Assessment, Processes and Equipment for Mechanization of Agricultural Operations, Production Physiology, and Computer and Mathematical Tools for Biomass Production), Sugarcane Biomass Processing (subprograms of Biofuel Production and Green Chemistry), and Integrated Assessment for Sugarcane Biorefineries (subprograms of Virtual Biorefinery for Sugarcane Development and Virtual Biorefinery for Sugarcane Usage).