Jump menu

Main content |  back to top

From cultivation to use, ethanol made from sugar cane produces around 70% less CO2 than petrol. As it grows, sugar cane absorbs more CO2 than other biofuel crops. The savings also come from factors such as transport and processing.

Raízen, Shell’s joint venture with Cosan, produces more than 2 billion litres of ethanol a year and with this expected to double. It is one of the world’s largest biofuel producers.

To raise crop yields, Raízen uses new technology. For example, its own advanced geographical information system draws on a number of sources, such as official soil records, public weather stations and real-time imaging of its 800,000 acres.

Then advanced mathematical modelling calculates how conditions affect crops. The results better inform agricultural managers who, for example, add more fertiliser or target pest control to help boost productivity.

Raízen burns leftover plant fibres for power – surplus electricity goes to the national grid

Raízen burns leftover plant fibres for power – surplus electricity goes to the national grid

Raízen has also found ways to support sustainable production. To drive its mills it burns leftover plant fibres: power not needed is supplied to the national grid.

Like other ethanol producers, Raízen also turns by-products into natural fertilisers for sugar cane: nutrient-rich crumbly solids, from filtering the juice, and a liquid left when ethanol is distilled.

Together with others, Raízen has established an EU-approved certificate for sustainable sugar-cane production. The BonSucro certificate covers areas such as human rights and the impact of activities on biodiversity.

Raízen has 10 of its mills certified, with clear targets to complete the certification of all 24 mills by 2017.

Discover more

Distributing and developing biofuels, a lower-carbon alternative to conventional transport fuels
02 June 2011 - Shell and Cosan today launched a multi-billion dollar joint venture that will become a leading producer of the low-carbon biofuel, ethanol made from sugar cane. Named Raízen, this major retail and commercial fuels company will operate in Brazil, one of the world's fastest-growing markets.