World region America

Biomass and bioenergy are of crucial importance in America, both North and Latin America. In this context, it is sufficient to mention wheat, soya and sugar cane. Bio-ethanol production is a proven concept in the USA as well as in Brazil.

However, bioenergy is more than bio-ethanol or bio-diesel. Almost all countries in America and the Caribbean show huge potentials of untapped agricultural residues and bio-waste. Besides fruit bunches, shells, leaves and branches, straw, vinasse and filter cake, a challenging feedstock in some regions is manure due to its high (local) quantities. A common topic in the colder, normally mountainous regions of the continent is the combustion of fire wood for heating. Due to the valley location, air circulation is often inhibited. By this, thousands of ovens cause regional smog which affects the health of the people. DBFZ is cooperating with partners in America to handle some of the mentioned topics. This applies to specific projects as well as to the academic exchange of scientists and PhD students and long-term cooperation agreements.


Country experiences

The DBFZ has established networks and official cooperation agreements with academia, research institutes and business partners in various countries in Canada, USA and Latin America, especially Brazil, Chile and Mexico. Further contacts have been established in Argentina, Colombia and Peru. 

In Brazil, the DBFZ initiated a research and consultancy network together with several partner universities in the state of Rio Grande do Sul focusing on biogas from agricultural residues in South Brazil. Further cooperation partners have been EMBRAPA Suínos e Aves in Concórdia and GIZ Brazil. The main areas of common interest are biogas technologies and biogas applications, especially for manure. However, one of the most important research topics in the DBFZ–Brazilian cooperation had been for several years the energetic use of sugar cane / ethanol production residues. Regarding academic cooperation, DBFZ has established a close link to the Universidade de São Paulo (USP).

DBFZ’s activities in Chile started in 2012 focusing on bioeconomy aspects. However, starting in 2013, a major topic for the cooperation has been combustion technologies, in particular for wood logs, and the reduction of emissions (mainly dust). In this field, DBFZ has been cooperating with the University of Talca for several years already. Further projects in Chile analyzed the hydrothermal carbonization of food waste and the combustion of walnut shells.

In Mexico, DBFZ has cooperated for various years with the Instituto Tecnológico de Durango. The focus was on the energetic use of woody residues, sewage sludge and different aspects of biogas production. Furthermore, there is very close academic cooperation with Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). The main activities include the interchange of PhD students and joint studies on gasification, biodiesel and biogas.


Further information on the specific country experiences can be found in the Country reports (PDF):

Canada | MexicoBrazil | Chile

The list will be extended successively.