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Caramuru launches hydrated soy ethanol

Caramuru launches hydrated soy ethanol
An integrated biorefinery, the Caramuru Alimentos (Caramuru) Sorriso soybean processing plant in Sorriso, Mata Grosso produces lecithin, soy protein concentrate (SPC), refined glycerin, biodiesel, heat, and power, and now also ethanol (photo courtesy Caramuru).

In Brazil, Caramuru Alimentos S.A., (Caramuru) a leader in the domestic soy, corn, sunflower, and canola processing market, has recently announced that it has started selling hydrated soy ethanol produced at its soybean processing complex in Sorriso, Mato Grosso.

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A family-held agribusiness company, Caramuru Alimentos (Caramuru) operates in grain storage and industrialization, oil extraction and refining, exporting soybeans, bran, vegetable oils, lecithin, and soy protein concentrate (SPC), and in producing biodiesel and refined glycerin.

Present in the states of Amapá, Goiás, Pará, Paraná, Mato Grosso, and São Paulo in Brazil, it is the 2nd largest corn processor in the country with an annual processing capacity of 470 000 tonnes.

It is also the 6th largest soybean processor company in Brazil with an annual capacity to process 2.0 million tonnes and is the 6th largest biodiesel player with a capacity to refine 230 000 tonnes of oilseeds and a production of over 550 million litres.

Caramuru has its three plants certified for issuing CBIOs within the RenovaBio program.


The initiative to produce fuel-grade ethanol, using soy as a raw material, is a first in the global ethanol industry – current production is based on sugarcane, corn, or sugarbeet.

The hydrated soy ethanol is produced from soy molasses, a by-product of the production of SPC. In this process, the full potential of raw material is reused with high energy efficiency, minimizing environmental impacts and maximizing the potential of the circular economy.

Although the production of ethanol using soy molasses is similar to that produced from sugarcane molasses, this type of ethanol production brings some innovations qualifying the project for FINEP funding, an agency linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation.

The industrial unit is located in Sorriso, Mato Grosso, and has an annual capacity of 9.5 million litres of hydrous ethanol.

Of this volume, 72 percent will be sold on the Brazilian domestic market and 28 percent consumed at the plant as inputs.

Regional benefits and sustainable production

The expansion of the Caramuru industrial complex in Sorriso means the creation of 60 new direct jobs and 200 indirect jobs, contributing to income generation.

With the technology for its generation, the full potential of the soy raw material is used with high energy efficiency, minimizing environmental impacts.

Now when processing soy at Sorriso, combined heat and power (CHP), biodiesel, and hydrous ethanol will be produced simultaneously along with the main protein products.

The production of soy ethanol in the industry reduces dependence on fossil fuels thereby avoiding fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

We are very pleased to announce that Caramuru is now also selling soy ethanol. This new activity confirms our spirit of always looking for new solutions within the sector, expanding our operations, and occupying relevant spaces within agribusiness, said Júlio Costa, CEO of Caramuru.

Reduce costs and increase revenues

The transformation of soy molasses into ethanol represents an increase in the added value of the product, which reduces costs and increases revenue.

Currently, SPC producers need to buy ethanol on the market and use it as a solvent to produce protein concentrate. With internal hydrated soy ethanol production, SPC industries are able to eliminate the need to purchase the input.

In addition to being used as fuel for vehicles, in its pure form, hydrated ethanol is also an industrial raw material, widely used in the manufacture of perfumes, cleaning materials, solvents, and paints.

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