Petrobras in partnership with the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro unveiled the new 2,000m2 Center for Biofuels, Oil and its Products in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The BRL$5.2m ($2.5m) complex sited at Cidade Universitária will feature six laboratories and three pilot plants and will carry out research in biotechnology and chemical engineering and to produce bio-fuels from renewable raw materials.

UFRJ dean Carlos Levi said, "I am sure many projects will be developed here that will support initiatives and projects of great scope and national interest."

Petrobras Biocombustível Technological Management manager João Norberto Noschang Neto said the project began at UFRJ eight years ago to produce second generation ethanol from sugarcane bagasse.

"We have progressed a great deal and, in 2015, will produce commercially, "said Neto.

"We will monitor the work, test the outcomes, and prepare our Company and our nation for the challenges in energy supply and in the increase of renewable sources."

The center has reactors designed to cultivate microalgae and will use the Biorefinery concept, which uses biomass to produce biofuels and bioproducts using biochemical, thermochemical, and oleochemical processes.