Betting on a niche that's still in embryonic state, Sykué Bioenergya, a Brazilian company dedicated to producing energy from biological sources, invested R$140m in a power plant that's fueled by elephant-grass.

Elephant grass is a plant that vaguely resembles sugarcane. The resemblance is not restricted to the visual aspects: elephant grass also possesses relevant potential for producing energy. Sykué Bioenergya, a Brazilian company dedicated to producing energy from biological sources, sees a promising niche in it and is investing R$140m (about US$80m) in a power plant fueled by its dry biomass.

The possible benefits of producing energy from elephant grass are many. For one, the lifecycle of the plant is very short: harvest takes place merely six months after seeding. Moreover, it produces 40 tons of biomass per hectare of crop, while sugarcane produces roughly between 15-20 tons, and eucalyptus produces between 10-15 tons in the same area. Elephant grass is also easier on the soil: it grows on earth that's not rich in nutrients and is not nearly as demanding as eucalyptus in terms of water.

EXCLUSIVE MEMBER CONTENT
PSFK provides access to this article and every report, case-study, interview, and analysis that we publish for our members. PSFK Professional Membership also unlocks accessto unlimited customized research assistance and our database of over 100,000 insights on innovation trendspanning across eight industry sectors—from culture and brand to retail and customer experience.
Already a members? Log in