Monday, April 16, 2012

Brasilia 1: Sugar Cane Processing Plant

So we just got back from Brasilia (the capital of Brazil) and Rio. We were there for a short trip, but man we packed it full of stuff! We visited a sugar cane processing plant (lots of sugar is grown here), a tomato processing plant and a corn processing plant. At the sugar one they make regular sugar, as well as ethanol. The first two presses of the sugar cane (it looks sort of like a stick of bamboo, but shorter and solid) is used to make sugar, and the next five are used to make ethanol. It was a really crazy plant. I'll post the tomato and corn in another post. For now, let me tell you about our trip to Brasilia with pictures.

Emus here (statues), because there are snakes that endanger the workers in the fields of sugarcane. Emus eat snakes.
Handsome couple in our safety helmets, yes? We also donned hair nets and face masks later. Luckily you can't see the sweat pouring down our faces here. It was hot.
There were a lot of neat pictures of the factory. I couldn't figure out which were the best, so I thought this one of me might be good. Behind me is the machine that sort of dumps the sugar cane into the area to be crushed. I think.
We are standing on a platform and there is some sort of machinery behind us, but the stuff in front is the stuff that does the actual crushing of the cane. Remember? First two presses are for sugar, the rest are for ethanol? You can see four boxes in a line sort of near the middle of the picture. Those are the presses. There are more, hidden.
The left of the image you can sort of see a clear film with blue stuff printed on it. This is how the bags start, flat roll of film. This machine makes it into a cylinder and fills it with sugar. Then it's on that little conveyor belt, and off to a truck to be shipped!
Each bag is 1 ton of sugar. The warehouse was insanely huge. And also had one of the stickiest floors I've been on in a while. 
A gift at the end of our tour. A bag of sugar for each of us. Then we got to carry around the 2kg bag for the rest of our trip. 
I forget what this machine does. But pretty, right?
We also stopped by a guy's house (a worker from the plant) because he was making pamonhas. It was a really nice family process. But we arrived thinking we were eating them soon after we got there. Which really meant (Brazil's not so good with time, sometimes) that they'd be ready in 4 hours. So we left.
When we got to the office in the morning they were waiting for us! Yummy snack.
I also saw this GREAT looking bird. I chased it around the property trying to get a good picture. It was lunchtime, so all the workers were watching me. Luckily I don't understand much of what they say. Anyway, this bird was about 2 feet tall. Neat right? The people didn't act like it was anything special, so maybe it wasn't.
Also the whole campus had these great fishtail palms. They were different than lots of the ones I've seen in the states. More like a palm tree. But they were fruiting while we were there. Pretty berries right? Not good for eating though (or so I was told. I'll try them eventually).


No comments:

Post a Comment