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Innovation in the sugarcane and ethanol industry – Sabará Participações

Innovation in the sugarcane and ethanol industry

For the work developed under a partnership with Sabará, the engineer Cláudio Truchlaeff was awarded the Prêmio Finep de Inovação 2012 in the Northeast region, category Innovative Inventor, after developing the Chlorine Dioxide (Diox®), patented by the Sabará Group.

Biofuel production requires the action of yeasts, microorganisms that ferment the sugarcane broth. Antibiotics are traditionally used to eliminate the bacteria that compete with the yeasts for the sugarcane juices, and the residues that are contaminated with antibiotics cannot be used for another purposes.

The product was tested in one of the plants that are partners of the company, proving that it is possible to eliminate the Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a bacteria that attacks the yeast and was becoming resistant to antibiotics. The application of Diox® improved the efficiency of the fermentation process, substituting the antibiotics.

With this application, the exceeding yeast that is used in ethanol production can be sold as a source of protein for animal food, without any risk of bioaccumulation or contamination of the environment.

Through a partnership with the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) and supported by Finep, the Group developed a version of Diox® to be used in sanitation, after the demand of a large water public company in the Northeast. The product started to be commercialized in 2004 with this application, and in 2012 a new application for this technology was developed.

With the creation of the Diox® to be used in the sugarcane and ethanol industry, the Group started to operate with the BioE unit, providing an innovative solution for this market. This application enhances the productivity of the plants with a simple process – the product is generated in a reactor installed inside the plant.

The Group is currently investing in the research of new products for this line, such as the chlorine dioxide stabilized in powder and applied experimentally. This powder version of the product shall meet the demands of long-distance transportations, and eventually may be applied for the conservation of food during transportation.

Diox® allows the cost reduction with materials by cubic meter of ethanol of up to seven times compared to conventional methods


  • High disinfectant power with bactericide, fungicide and algicide actions.
  • Efficiency in wide pH variation (3 to 10).
  • Reduction in the formation of undesirable products such as trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids.
  • It is photodegradable, not settling in the water.
The application of Diox®, a product developed under a partnership with Sabará, substitutes the antibiotics in the fermentation process at the plants.