International Sugarcane Biomass Utilization Consortium (ISBUC)


DATE: Friday, 17 November 2006
VENUE: Matsubara Hotel, Maceio, Alagoas, Brazil
ATTENDANCE: As per list below


Following the initial meeting held in South Africa in July 2006, a follow-up meeting was held to decide on whether the initiative to establish an international consortium focused on using sugarcane biomass should be continued. The meeting was held following the ISSCT Co-products Workshop and was attended by 12 people from 6 different countries. Apologies and a positive commitment was received from Mitr Phol (Thailand). Apologies and agreement in principle to participation in ISBUC were received from Parry (India), while apologies and an expression of interest was received from SMRI (South Africa). Apologies were also received from SA Cane Growers, SRI (Australia), Tongaat-Hulett Sugar (South Africa), and Solutia (Brazil).

The notes from the last meeting were tabled, as well as a copy of the proposals for the establishment of ISBUC, amended after the last meeting. A survey of attendees carried out beforehand showed interest in the full range of anticipated activities (production of biomass, collection of biomass, gasification, pretreatment, hydrolysis, fermentation, specialty products, new technology, economic modelling). All responders reacted positively to the formation of ISBUC; commitments in terms of payment of fees and participation on a steering committee (working group) were mixed pending precise information on the quantum of fees and responsibilities implied.


Attendees outlined their interests and current research activities. What was clearly evident was the progress that has already been made in Brazil, and the good research facilities already existing.

Discussion of the proposals for the formation of ISBUC resulted in only a few changes being required. The modified document is attached, now no longer referred to as proposals for establishment, but as the Memorandum of Understanding Governing (Please click to access) the Activities of ISBUC. The major issues discussed were:
  • Breeding of “energy cane” or high biomass cane will not be a part of ISBUC. Trash collection and agronomic practices as they affect activities will be included.
  • A web site is an important part of ISBUC. It will be hosted by ISSCT. A general part of this will be open to all, but access to reports and details of ISBUC activities will be regulated by passwords given to members.
  • A confidentiality agreement for each project is anticipated, as well as a general confidentiality agreement among members relating to new information generated, (Jean Claude Autrey will provide a draft for discussion and adoption).
  • An attempt will be made to have ISBUC meetings coincide with ISSCT Congresses and Workshops.

  1. It was decided to officially launch ISBUC as from the beginning of 2007. The ISBUC year will follow the calendar year.
  2. In this initial stage, prospective members will be given up to 3 months (to end of March), to join and pay their dues.
  3. The new web site will be designed and implemented for the beginning of 2007, by ISSCT Secretariat.
  4. The next ISBUC meeting will be held in Durban in July during the ISSCT Congress.
  5. Luis Cortez (University of Campinas) and Electo Silva (Universidade Federal de Itajuba, UNIFEI) will propose 2 projects for consideration by ISBUC, one on gasification and one on vinasse utilization. In terms of the MOU, the projects will be posted on the web site 120 days before the next ISBUC meeting, and will be developed into formal proposals 60 days before the next meeting.
  6. A working group to assist in getting ISBUC going was proposed, consisting of Peter Rein (USA), Jean Claude Autrey (Mauritius), Luis Cortez (Brazil), Electo Silvo (Brazil), Regis Leal (Brazil), Pipat Weerathaworn (Thailand, subject to his agreement), and Bryan Lavarack (Australia). SRI/QUT will be invited to participate if they wish to.
  7. Peter Rein will continue to lead the initiative until the next ISSCT Congress, with continuation depending on circumstances. Jean Claude Autrey will act as ISSCT liaison coordinator.
November 20, 2006


1. Luis Cortez UNICAMP
2. M. Regis L. V. Leal CENEA
3. Edgardo Olivares Gomez UNIFEI
4. Electo Silva Lora UNIFEI
5. Mike Butterfield SASRI
6. Bryan Lavarack Mackay Sugar Co-operative Association.
7. Pedro Avram IPRO Germany/IPROSUCAR
8. K. T. K. F. (Serge) Kong Win Chang MSIRI
9. Raffaella Rossetto STAB – IAC
10. Vera Dubeux Torres UFAL / RIDESA-CECIA
11. Jean Claude Autrey MSIRI, Mauritius
12. Peter Rein Audubon Sugar Institute, LSU AgCenter