Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Brazil Seeks To Bolster Ethanol Sector

Last month, Rodrigues said he expected the demand for ethanol to double over the next eight years and if Brazil was going to keep its hold in the market, it would have to build 73 new ethanol-producing mills and increase its growing capacity by 50 percent.
by Carmen J. Gentile
Rio De Janeiro (UPI) Feb 06, 2006
Brazilian officials are jockeying for funding to increase the country's production of ethanol, a leading bio-fuel that is cleaner burning that petroleum.

Over the past few weeks, the ethanol industry in Brazil has garnered much attention both at home and abroad, with President George W. Bush saying in his State of the Union speech that the United States needed to reduce its dependency on volatile nations and their oil supplies.

In Brasilia, ethanol advocates like Agricultural Minister Roberto Rodrigues have called for a $10 billion investment in the sugarcane industry, which is already the largest in the world. Ethanol is most commonly produced using either corn or sugar.

Last month, Rodrigues said he expected the demand for ethanol to double over the next eight years and if Brazil was going to keep its hold in the market, it would have to build 73 new ethanol-producing mills and increase its growing capacity by 50 percent.

"Ethanol is strategic for the country," said the minister following meetings with Brazilian sugar and ethanol executives.

Rodrigues' $10 billion request and remarks appeared to have had a powerful effect on the market, prompting raw sugar prices to reach a 24-year high in January.

Such is the potency of the ethanol ideal, particularly the sugar-based variety, said PierPaolo Cazzola, an energy analyst at the Paris-based International Energy Agency.

Cazzola said sugarcane ethanol has "large potential to reduce C02 emissions," up to 80 or 90 percent. Ethanol produced from starchy materials can reduce carbon dioxide emission from 15-20 percent, he added.

Brazil is already leaps and bounds ahead of the United States and other developed countries when it comes to using ethanol's full potential, making its use a matter of law. All Brazilian gasoline must contain 25 percent ethanol and most vehicles produced in the country can run on any mixture of the two fuels.

Back in the 1970s, Brazil's Pro-Ethanol Program subsidized sugar mills to produce extra product specifically for the production of the bio-fuel in the wake of the oil price spike experienced worldwide. Now with oil prices skyrocketing amid unrest in the Middle East, Brazil is once again experiencing a boom in the ethanol trade.

Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras signed an agreement last week to carry out a feasibility study for a new $225 million pipeline to carry ethanol from the center-west state of Goia to the coastal state of Sao Paulo.

The pipeline would have a capacity to transport about 1 billion gallons of the fuel annually to Petrobras's refinery where it would be mixed with gasoline. It would also create new opportunities for ethanol exports through the state's ports, said Petrobras in a statement.

"We are the only country in the world that has the technology to build an ethanol pipeline," Petrobras Chief Executive Sergio Gabrielli. "To make the ethanol market grow is strategic for the world, not just for Brazil."

If Brazilian projections for ethanol demands come true, then the projected pipeline and the minister's request for additional sugar investment would fuel the growing global demand for alternatives to oil.

by 2010, domestic and foreign demand for ethanol is expected to rise to about 6 billion gallons a year, said an agricultural ministry study, up from 4 billion annually now.

Last year Brazil produced 13 million gallons, though it is in talks with several nations, including the United States, China and India, to export 65 million gallons in the coming years.

Even if projections for global and national ethanol demand come to fruition in the next four years, Brazil won't be reaping the benefits of its added fuel production if the United States isn't committed to exploring bio-fuel options, noted Cazzola.

"A demand market must first be developed" through policy that ensures ethanol makes its way to American filling stations, he said.

When Brazil first introduced ethanol to drivers, the government made it mandatory for Petrobras to sell the fuel at its stations.

Source: United Press International

Related Links

Polymer Membranes For Hydrogen Purification Could Lower Production Costs
Austin TX (SPX) Feb 06, 2006
A team of engineers and scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and RTI International developed new polymer membranes for producing hydrogen that brings an energy-efficient, low-cost hydrogen purification process a step closer to reality, an important stride toward making hydrogen a viable energy alternative.

  • Storm-Ravaged New Orleans Seeks To Reverse Social Ills
  • US Military To End Pakistan Relief Operation
  • Tsunami Victims' Rights Abused?
  • Disaster Convention Warned On Urbanisation Risk

  • Thousands Of Barges Could Save Europe From Deep Freeze
  • Research Flights Probing Ice Particles In Clouds
  • World's Temperature Second Highest On Record In 2005: Japan
  • Sat Portrait Of Global Plant Growth Will Aid Climate Research

  • Keeping New York City "Cool" Is The Job Of NASA's "Heat Seekers"
  • MSG-2 First Images
  • EADS Astrium To Supply Algeria's ALSAT-2 Optical Observation System
  • Daichi Returns To Normal Operation Conditions, Completes Critical Phase

  • Polymer Membranes For Hydrogen Purification Could Lower Production Costs
  • Brazil Seeks To Bolster Ethanol Sector
  • New Material Brings Hydrogen Fuel, Cheaper Petrochemicals Closer
  • China To Produce Gas From Disputed Field Soon

  • Flood Hit Mozambique Braces For Rise In Cholera Deaths
  • Seventeenth Avian-Flu Death In Indonesia
  • Hong Kong Bird Flu Finds Raise New Fears About China Reporting
  • In Indonesia, 2 More Flu Deaths Suspected

  • Antarctic Krill Provide Carbon Sink In Southern Ocean
  • Asian Elephant Nations Meet To Discuss Species' Survival
  • Identifying Whale Sharks Using Astronomical Star Pattern Recognition Program
  • Clay Major Contributor To Oxygen That Enabled Early Animal Life

  • Liberian-Flagged Ship Suspected Of Deadly Oil Slick Off Estonia
  • Pesticide Combinations Imperil Frogs
  • Chronic Oil Pollution Takes Toll On Seabirds Along SAmerican Coast
  • French Nuclear Watchdog Gives Thumbs-Up To Deep Waste Burial

  • Brain Changes Significantly After Age Eighteen
  • Blue Light May Fight Fatigue
  • Study Suggests Why Neanderthals Vanished
  • New Technique Puts Brain-Imaging Research On Its Head

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement