For 70 years, Petrobras has been carrying out highly technological research throughout the country. One result of these investments in innovation and technology was the discovery of pre-salt in ultra-deep waters. Currently, technology is an ally of the state-owned company in the objective of promoting “decarbonization”, that is, the production of less polluting, more sustainable energy and with a long-term focus on the energy transition.
The Petrobras Research Center (Cenpes), located on Ilha do Fundão, in Rio de Janeiro, is one of the largest research complexes applied to the energy industry in the world. Through Cenpes, several partnerships with scientific institutions and technology-based companies in Brazil and abroad seek not only to improve the productivity, efficiency and safety of operations, but also to enable alternative energy sources.
For Cibele Vieira, director of the Single Federation of Oil Workers (FUP) and coordinator of Sindpetro Unificado, the challenge posed to the state-owned company in this area is in line with the global effort to reduce the impact of emissions into the atmosphere for energy generation.
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“The (Petrobras) refineries have been increasing their installed production capacity without necessarily increasing the number of plants (number of plants), just increasing their technological capacity. Also the least polluting fuel, everything is technological capacity. Petrobras is a company that essentially develops a lot of technology and is recognized worldwide for this”, says the union leader.
A recent example of Petrobras’ technological capacity aligned with sustainable objectives is renewable diesel, which will even be used by the car manufacturer Volvo in its industrial complex in Curitiba, Paraná, where trucks and bus chassis are produced.
The automaker’s decision to purchase renewable fuel came after a demonstration of the technology at Cenpes. The commercial partnership was announced earlier this month. According to the state-owned company, the so-called Diesel R is chemically identical to petroleum diesel, but made from renewable or residual sources, such as vegetable oil.
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Studies indicate that this type of biofuel brings reductions in relation to ester-based biodiesel – found at gas stations – of around 15% of greenhouse gas emissions and, in relation to mineral diesel oil, the reduction can be 70%. % depending on the raw material used.
“Petrobras was the first company in Brazil to develop its own technology for co-processing renewable raw materials in refining, in addition to designing and implementing diesel with renewable content in our units. We are pleased to start this commercial partnership with Volvo, a company internationally recognized for its environmental concern”, declared the Director of Marketing and Logistics, Claudio Romeo Schlosser, in an article on the state-owned company’s website.
The production of Diesel R on an industrial scale, at the Presidente Getúlio Vargas Refinery (Repar), in Paraná, awaits regulation by the National Petroleum Agency (ANP). The name of the mixture refers to the percentage of renewable content added to the mixture, which can be 5% (Diesel R5), 12% (Diesel R12) or even higher.
As a consequence of the disinvestment policy of previous governments, Petrobras also suffered significant losses in the area of technological development, one of the pillars for the state-owned company’s activities and which must be resumed in this new phase of the company, says union leader Cibele Vieira.
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“Petrobras historically invested a lot in research and was scrapped, including in engineering. But it’s already coming back, and not for nothing, the last competitions this year were for engineers, to return to this stronger focus on the issue of cutting-edge technology. This brings results not only for Brazil, but for the world”, reinforces the director of FUP.
In this sense, the state-owned company’s Strategic Plan (2024-2028) highlights that the path to energy transition, that is, overcoming the fossil matrix, involves strengthening technological and operational partnerships.
“It is undeniable that oil, like fossil energy, generates pollution. So it is part of the company’s social responsibility to have to find ways to reduce the social and climate impact of what it generates. Investing in biofuel research, in the development of other energy sources, is fulfilling the role of minimizing the impact that the product the company makes generates for the planet”, concludes Cibele.
Source: BdF Rio de Janeiro
Editing: Eduardo Miranda