Social Transformative Research Informing Processes of Environmental Science Co-Production of Knowledge in the Case of the Granbio Advanced Bio-Refinery in Alagoas, Northeast Brazil
The creation of enzymes for a bioethanol-from-cellulose reactor presents innovative solutions to the global need for sustainable fuels. The implementation of these technologies and associated infrastructure raises questions about how they can be developed in ways that simultaneously address broader environmental and social justice goals. This research brings together lay and academic communities in order to co-produce knowledge to inform further developments aimed at meeting energy demands in developing economies. Through reflection upon the assumptions that inform mainstream approaches to development, the research team will engage in interdisciplinary dialogue between social and natural scientists involved in development research. It will thus interrogate the questions, priorities and criteria used when new technological developments are proposed. A case study of the first operational advanced (second-generation) bio-refinery in Brazil will investigate decision-making processes from a range of stakeholder perspectives, including those of rural farming communities. The findings will inform decision-making in relation to nascent bio-refinery projects.