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Flex-Fuel Technology Makes Brazil Leading Ethanol Exporter and Producer PDF Print E-mail
2009 - January 2009
Written by Newsroom   
Friday, 02 January 2009 22:50

Sugarcane plantation in Brazil Brazil consolidated itself, in 2008, as the world's leading ethanol exporter and third largest biodiesel market, with the entry into operation of six new biodiesel plants and another 29 for ethanol, 18 of which integrate the Growth Acceleration Program (PAC) of the Brazilian federal government.

Investment in the ethanol plants has reached 12 billion reais (US$ 5 billion). According to information supplied by the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy, ethanol production has exceeded 22 billion liters (5.8 billion gallons) per year, which makes Brazil into the world's second largest producer country after the first place, the United States. The figures were disclosed by the Communication Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic.

As a result of the success of the Brazilian flex-fuel technology (which allows for the mixing of ethanol and gasoline at any proportion), presently, nearly 90% of Brazilian light vehicle production uses the technology.

In 2008, the Brazilian market reached the mark of seven million flex vehicles in circulation. Currently, more than 25% of the national light vehicle fleet counts on the technology. The ethanol market in Brazil has the same size as the gasoline market, be it concerning production, consumption or exports.

The year of 2008 saw the entry into force, in January, of the mandatory addition of 2% biodiesel to all diesel sold to end consumers. In July, the rate of the mix was increased to 3%, the equivalent to an annual volume of 1.3 billion liters (343.4 million gallons). In November, the installed capacity for biodiesel production reached 2.993 billion liters (791 million gallons) a year, and the number of plants operating in Brazil totaled 46.

From November 2007 to November 2008, seven biodiesel auctions were held, and the delivery of over 1.33 billion liters was negotiated for the period ranging from January 2008 until the first quarter of 2009.

Estimated investment in order to manufacture that volume is around 3 billion reais (US$ 1.2 billion). In these auctions, approximately 80% of the purchased amount will be produced at plants bearing the Social Fuel Stamp, meaning that they purchase raw material from family farmers.

The consolidation of the biodiesel production chain in Brazil was encouraged by a public policy launched by the federal government in 2004. The policy is the National Biofuel Production and Use Program (PNPB), based on three pillars: economic (creation of a new industry), social (insertion of family agriculture) and environmental (reduction of pollutant emissions).

By means of a stable regulatory environment and a series of auctions for purchase, the production chain has been structured out and the market supply, guaranteed. Now, one year after the entry into force of the mandatory addition of biodiesel to diesel, Brazil already stands out as the world's third largest buyer and consumer of the fuel.

Anba

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Louisiana Enacts the Most Comprehensive Advanced Biofuel Legislation in the Nation
written by Brian J. Donovan, January 03, 2009
Governor Bobby Jindal has signed into law the Advanced Biofuel Industry Development Initiative, the most comprehensive and far-reaching state legislation in the nation enacted to develop a statewide advanced biofuel industry. Louisiana is the first state to enact alternative transportation fuel legislation that includes a variable blending pump pilot program and a hydrous ethanol pilot program.

Field-to-Pump Strategy
The legislature found that the proper development of an advanced biofuel industry in Louisiana requires implementation of the following comprehensive “field-to-pump” strategy developed by Renergie, Inc.:

(1) Feedstock Other Than Corn
(a) derived solely from Louisiana harvested crops;
(b) capable of an annual yield of at least 600 gallons of ethanol per acre;
(c) requiring no more than one-half of the water required to grow corn;
(d) tolerant to high temperature and waterlogging;
(e) resistant to drought and saline-alkaline soils;
(f) capable of being grown in marginal soils, ranging from heavy clay to light sand;
(g) requiring no more than one-third of the nitrogen required to grow corn, thereby reducing the risk of contamination of the waters of the state; and
(h) requiring no more than one-half of the energy necessary to convert corn into ethanol.

(2) Decentralized Network of Small Advanced Biofuel Manufacturing Facilities
Smaller is better. The distributed nature of a small advanced biofuel manufacturing facility network reduces feedstock supply risk, does not burden local water supplies and provides for broader based economic development. Each advanced biofuel manufacturing facility operating in Louisiana will produce no less than 5 million gallons of advanced biofuel per year and no more than 15 million gallons of advanced biofuel per year.

(3) Market Expansion
Advanced biofuel supply and demand shall be expanded beyond the 10% blend market by blending fuel-grade anhydrous ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump. Variable blending pumps, directly installed and operated at local gas stations by a qualified small advanced biofuel manufacturing facility, shall offer the consumer a less expensive substitute for unleaded gasoline in the form of E10, E20, E30 and E85.

Pilot Programs
(1) Advanced Biofuel Variable Blending Pumps - The blending of fuels with advanced biofuel percentages between 10 percent and 85 percent will be permitted on a trial basis until January 1, 2012. During this period the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Division of Weights & Measures will monitor the equipment used to dispense the ethanol blends to ascertain that the equipment is suitable and capable of producing an accurate measurement.

(2) Hydrous Ethanol - The use of hydrous ethanol blends of E10, E20, E30 and E85 in motor vehicles specifically selected for test purposes will be permitted on a trial basis until January 1, 2012. During this period the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Division of Weights & Measures will monitor the performance of the motor vehicles. The hydrous blends will be tested for blend optimization with respect to fuel consumption and engine emissions. Preliminary tests conducted in Europe have proven that the use of hydrous ethanol, which eliminates the need for the hydrous-to-anhydrous dehydration processing step, results in an energy savings of between ten percent and forty-five percent during processing, a four percent product volume increase, higher mileage per gallon, a cleaner engine interior, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.


Please feel free to visit Renergie’s weblog (www.renergie.wordpress.com) for more information.

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