Ethanol from sugarcane in Brazil: A 'midway' strategy for increasing ethanol production while maximizing environmental benefits

Marcos S. Buckeridge, Amanda P. de Souza, Rebecca A. Arundale, Kristina J. Anderson-Teixeira, Evan Delucia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reviews the history and current state of ethanol production from sugais approach to the future of sustainable and responsible ethanol production is termed the 'midway' strategy. The 'midway' strategy involves producing the necessary biotechnology to increase productircane in Brazil and presents a strategy for improving ecosystem services and production. We propose that it is possible to produce ethanol from sugarcane while maintaining or even recovering some of Brazil's unique neotropical biodiversity and ecosystem climate services. Thvity while synergistically protecting and regenerating rainforest. Three main areas of scientific and technological advance that are key to realizing the 'midway' strategy are: (i) improving the quality of scientific data on sugarcane biology as pertains to its use as a bioenergy crop; (ii) developing technologies for the use of bagasse for cellulosic ethanol; and (iii) developing policies to improve the ecosystem services associated with sugarcane landscapes. This article discusses these three issues in the general context of biofuels production and highlights examples of scientific achievements that are already leading towards the 'midway' strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-126
Number of pages8
JournalGCB Bioenergy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Agroecosystems
  • Bioenergy
  • Biofuels
  • Cell wall
  • Cellulosic ethanol
  • Ethanol
  • Greenhouse gas value
  • Land use
  • Sugarcane
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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